Localizer sequences of magnetic resonance imaging accurately identify osteoporotic vertebral fractures

A. Bazzocchi, G. Garzillo, F. Fuzzi, D. Diano, U. Albisinni, E. Salizzoni, G. Battista, G. Guglielmi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the present study was to evaluate the performance of sagittal MR localizer (MR-loc), in terms of diagnostic accuracy and intra- and inter-observer agreement in the detection of vertebral fractures (VFs). Three-hundred MR examinations of the thoracic and/or lumbar spine were randomly collected. A semi-quantitative approach was used and morphometric analysis was performed when a VF was suspected. MR-loc images were evaluated blindly by three radiologists in two different sessions. A full diagnostic sagittal T1-weighted fast spin echo MR sequence was used as standard of reference (RS). Degenerative arthritis was also scored on RS. Only vertebral bodies which were assessable by both MR-loc and RS were considered for the analysis. Area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC), Cohen kappa statistic, and linear-by-linear association were used for statistical analysis. Kappa values were compared by means of the z distribution.A total of 2186 vertebrae were analysed in 300 MRI exams (147 males, 153 females, 59.4. ±. 16.4. y.o.). Sixty-seven out of 2136 (3.1%) VFs were identified in 23/300 (7.7%) patients submitted to MRI. In the detection of VFs, sensitivity and specificity of MR-loc were both 100% (accuracy AUROC=1.000). Inter-observer agreement was excellent (k=0.938. ±. 0.013), while intra-observer agreement was perfect (k=1.000). The diagnostic performance was independent from degenerative arthritis, vertebral level, type and grade of VFs.MR-loc is a simple but accurate tool in the detection of VFs. It should be introduced for systematic evaluation in the detection of VFs in MR examinations performed in daily clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-163
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014


  • Fracture prevention
  • Osteoporosis
  • Radiology
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Histology


Dive into the research topics of 'Localizer sequences of magnetic resonance imaging accurately identify osteoporotic vertebral fractures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this