Semin Musculoskelet Radiol 2002; 06(3): 253-262
DOI: 10.1055/s-2002-36723
Copyright © 2002 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA. Tel.: +1(212) 584-4662

Imaging of Trabecular Bone Structure

Thomas M. Link, Jan S. Bauer
  • 1Department of Radiology, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
23 January 2003 (online)


In addition to bone mass, trabecular bone architecture is an important entity in assessing bone fragility, which is crucial in the diagnosis of osteoporosis. A number of imaging techniques have been used to analyze bone structure noninvasively. Projection radiography has been used with good results in the peripheral skeleton; however, this is only a two-dimensional technique, which reflects trabecular bone structure to a certain extent. High-resolution tomographic techniques, such as high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography (CT), have a limited spatial resolution but the potential to image three-dimensional architecture of trabecular bone. With the advances in magnetic resonance hardware and software and new CT techniques (i.e., multislice spiral CT and clinical micro-CT), noninvasive imaging of trabecular bone is becoming more feasible.


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