Proton magnetic relaxation in bone marrow related to age and bone mineral density: Low-resolution in vitro studies

L. Lendinara, C. Accorsi, C. Agostini, G. Angelini, F. Baruffaldi, M. Fini, M. Motta, G. Giavaresi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Detailed analysis of proton spin-spin and spin-lattice relaxation behaviors of the bone marrow in the presence of trabecular bone network was performed at low-resolution (B 0 = 0.496T) on rat vertebrae specimens deprived of spinal cord. Two groups of samples, from young and old healthy animals, were investigated before cellular necrosis had started. BMD measurements were carried out to quantify the expected age-related modifications of the trabecular bone network. 1H-MR measurements were also performed on the same samples, deprived of marrow and saturated with water, in order to control the validity of a possible interpretation of the marrow 1H-MR characteristics, in terms of marrow components, and to investigate the possible employment of these samples to study the trabecular bone network properties. We pointed out that: 1) a bimodal distribution of T 2i and T 1i values (distinguishing "fast" and "slow" relaxations) describes satisfactorily all the 1H-MR experimental decays; 2) age-related modifications of the trabecular bone network are marked by correlate variations of the BMD value and of the proton spin-spin relaxation rates in water saturated samples; 3) age-related modifications of marrow are underlined by variations of the average value of the "fast" T 2i and of the "slow" T 1i relaxation time distributions, which could be attributed to the marrow components different from the fat granules of the adipose cells. Our results suggest that studies in vitro on bone tissue, by 1H-MR techniques at low-resolution, may contribute to a better bone function characterization and, therefore, to a better clinical utilization of MRI techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)745-753
Number of pages9
JournalMagnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Age induced variations
  • BMD measurements
  • Proton magnetic relaxometry
  • Rat lumbar vertebrae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Structural Biology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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