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13 March 2006 Micro-MRI-based image acquisition and processing system for assessing the response to therapeutic intervention
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Osteoporosis is the cause of over 1.5 million bone fractures annually. Most of these fractures occur in sites rich in trabecular bone, a complex network of bony struts and plates found throughout the skeleton. The three-dimensional structure of the trabecular bone network significantly determines mechanical strength and thus fracture resistance. Here we present a data acquisition and processing system that allows efficient noninvasive assessment of trabecular bone structure through a "virtual bone biopsy". High-resolution MR images are acquired from which the trabecular bone network is extracted by estimating the partial bone occupancy of each voxel. A heuristic voxel subdivision increases the effective resolution of the bone volume fraction map and serves a basis for subsequent analysis of topological and orientational parameters. Semi-automated registration and segmentation ensure selection of the same anatomical location in subjects imaged at different time points during treatment. It is shown with excerpts from an ongoing clinical study of early post-menopausal women, that significant reduction in network connectivity occurs in the control group while the structural integrity is maintained in the hormone replacement group. The system described should be suited for large-scale studies designed to evaluate the efficacy of therapeutic intervention in subjects with metabolic bone disease.
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B. Vasilić, G. A. Ladinsky, P. K. Saha, and F. W. Wehrli "Micro-MRI-based image acquisition and processing system for assessing the response to therapeutic intervention", Proc. SPIE 6143, Medical Imaging 2006: Physiology, Function, and Structure from Medical Images, 61430W (13 March 2006);

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