Estimating the whole bone-marrow asset in humans by a computational approach to integrated PET/CT imaging

Gianmario Sambuceti, Massimo Brignone, Cecilia Marini, Michela Massollo, Francesco Fiz, Silvia Morbelli, Ambra Buschiazzo, Cristina Campi, Roberta Piva, Anna Maria Massone, Michele Piana, Francesco Frassoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose Despite their relevance in clinical medicine, the extension and activity of the bone marrow (BM) cannot be directly evaluated in vivo. We propose a new method to estimate these variables by combining structural and functional maps provided by CT and PET. Methods BM extension and glucose uptake were estimated in 102 patients undergoing whole-body PET/CT because of a history of nonmetastatic melanoma. Image analysis assumed that the BM is surrounded by compact bone. An iterative optimization scheme was applied to each CT slice to identify the external border of the bone. To identify compact bone, the algorithm measured the average Hounsfield coefficient within a two-pixel ring located just inside the bone contour. All intraosseous pixels with an attenuation coefficient lower than this cut-off were flagged as 1, while the remaining pixels were set at 0. Binary masks created from all CT slices were thus applied to the PET data to determine the metabolic activity of the intraosseous volume (IBV). Results Estimated whole-body IBV was 1,632±587 cm3 and was higher in men than in women (2,004±498 cm3 vs. 1,203 ±354 cm3, P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1326-1338
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


  • Bone marrow imaging
  • Image processing
  • PET/CT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Estimating the whole bone-marrow asset in humans by a computational approach to integrated PET/CT imaging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this