Standardization of MRI and scintigraphic scores for assessing the severity of bone marrow involvement in adult patients with type 1 gaucher disease

Giuliano Mariani, Marzio Perri, Fabrizio Minichilli, Simona Ortori, Silvia Linari, Fiorina Giona, Maja Di Rocco, Maria Domenica Cappellini, Federica Guidoccio, Paola A. Erba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE. MRI and 99mTc-sestamibi scintigraphy are used to estimate bone marrow infiltration in patients with Gaucher disease (GD), but comparison of data obtained at different institutions is difficult because different scores are employed for semiquantitative assessment. We developed normalized scores for comparing data both within a single method (MRI) and between different methods (MRI versus scintigraphy). MATERIALS AND METHODS. We evaluated 51 patients with type 1 GD (26 women, 25 men; mean age ± SD, 36.3 ± 10.9 years old). T1- and T2-weighted turbo spin-echo sequences at 1.5 T served to derive the bone marrow burden score (0-16), the vertebra-disk ratio (VDR), the Terk score (0-3), and the Spanish-MRI score (S-MRI, 0-24). Scintigraphy was scored between 0 and 8. Each score was normalized into four categories: 0 = normal, 1 = mild, 2 = intermediate, 3 = severe involvement. Interobserver and intraobserver agreements were evaluated by kappa statistics; nonparametric statistics with Bonferroni correction assessed correlations among the various original and normalized scores. RESULTS. Interobserver agreement was excellent for the original scores (κ = 0.730- 0.843) and even more so for the normalized scores (κ = 0.775-0.940). Intraobserver agreement kappa values ranged from 0.753 to 0.937 for the original scores and 0.851 to 1.000 for the normalized scores. Highly significant correlations were found among the various original scores (r = 0.42-0.86, p values between 0.0296 and < 0.0001), except for VDR versus S-MRI and Terk. Normalization generally induced marginal reductions in statistical significance, whereas S-MRI versus VDR reached statistical significance with the normalized scores. CONCLUSION. Our data indicate no significant loss of statistical information is caused by the normalization we employed. Our approach therefore facilitates comparison of different scores obtained in different institutions with different imaging modalities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1245-1252
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Bone marrow
  • Gaucher disease
  • MRI
  • Scintigraphy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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