Diffusion-weighted MR imaging in differentiation between osteoporotic and neoplastic vertebral fractures

G. Pozzi, C. Garcia Parra, P. Stradiotti, T. V. Tien, A. Luzzati, A. Zerbi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To assess the usefulness of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with spin-echo echo-planar diffusion-weighted imaging (SE-EPI-DWI) in differentiation between vertebral osteoporotic fractures and pathological neoplastic fractures. Materials and methods: Thirty-three patients with both osteoporotic or neoplastic vertebral fractures diagnosed with X-ray or TC were studied with MRI exam, (1.5 T unit) with DWI sequences. DWI sequences were qualitatively analyzed. Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values were also determined and compared to the definitive histologic diagnosis. Results: DWI of neoplastic lesions showed hyperintensity signal in 22 out of 23 cases. Mean ADC value of neoplastic fractures was 1.241 ± 0.4 9 10 -3 mm 2/s; mean ADC value of osteoporotic fractures was 0.646 ± 0.368 9 10 -3 mm 2/s. Neoplastic fractures showed ADC values significantly higher than osteoporotic ones (p <0.001). DWI imaging and histology showed a significant correlation. Conclusion: DWI provides reliable information to support MRI diagnosis of neoplastic versus osteoporotic fractures. ADC value appears as a useful adjunctive parameter.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Spine Journal
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


  • ADC values
  • DWI
  • MRI imaging
  • Vertebral fractures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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