Differentiation of osteoporotic and neoplastic vertebral fractures by chemical shift {in-phase and out-of phase} MR imaging

Yasser Ragab, Yasser Emad, Tamer Gheita, Maged Mansour, A. Abou-Zeid, Serge Ferrari, Johannes J. Rasker

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    Objective: The objective of this study was to establish the cut-off value of the signal intensity drop on chemical shift magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with appropriate sensitivity and specificity to differentiate osteoporotic from neoplastic wedging of the spine. Patients and methods: All patients with wedging of vertebral bodies were included consecutively between February 2006 and January 2007. A chemical shift MRI was performed and signal intensity after (in-phase and out-phase) images were obtained. A DXA was performed in all. Results: A total of 40 patients were included, 20 with osteoporotic wedging (group 1) and 20 neoplastic (group 2). They were 21 males and 19 females. Acute vertebral collapse was observed in 15 patients in group 1 and subacute collapse in another 5 patients, while in group 2, 11 patients showed acute collapse and 9 patients (45%) showed subacute vertebral collapse. On the chemical shift MRI a substantial reduction in signal intensity was found in all lesions in both groups. The proportional changes observed in signal intensity of bone marrow lesions on in-phase compared with out-of-phase images showed significant differences in both groups (P < 0.05). At a cut-off value of 35%, the observed sensitivity of out-of-phase images was 95%, specificity was 100%, positive predictive value was 100% and negative predictive value was 95.2%. Conclusion: A chemical shift MRI is useful in order to differentiate patients with vertebral collapse due to underlying osteoporosis or neoplastic process.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)125-133
    JournalEuropean journal of radiology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • Osteoporotic fractures
    • Opposed-phased imaging
    • Vertebral fractures
    • IR-80103
    • Neoplastic fractures
    • Chemical shift MRI (in-phase and out-phase)
    • DXA measurements


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