Connectivity in human cancellous bone by three-dimensional magnetic resonance microscopy

Mark Wessels, Ralph P. Mason, Peter P. Antich, Joseph E. Zerwekh, Charles Y C Pak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Bone architecture affects strength and resistance to fracture. Trabecular connectivity is now recognized as an important measure of bone quality, and could be useful as an indicator of the osteoporotic condition, as well as a tool for measuring the effectiveness of therapies. We have applied three-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging microscopy to human cancellous bone biopsies, and report the results of connectivity measurements. Sample heterogeneity was examined on the basis of connectivity density for subvolumes. The choice of examination volume had a significant effect on connectivity density measurements, but sample volumes greater than 100 mm3 were found to give stable results. Connectivity density was strongly correlated with nodal density, and two-dimensional estimates of connectivity, but not bone volume fraction. Repeat measurement at constant resolution (69x138x109 μm, signal-to-noise ratio of about 35) showed reproducibility of about 5% for connectivity density. Our most recent results have significantly enhanced resolution (69X69X43 μm); bone fraction remained constant, but apparent connectivity density is greater.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1409-1420
Number of pages12
JournalMedical physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1997


  • Bone structure
  • Connectivity
  • MR microscopy
  • Trabeculae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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