Magnetic resonance imaging of compact bone

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University of New Brunswick


Magnetic Resonance Imaging in clinical applications has traditionally been used for visualization of soft tissues and semi-fluid materials. The need for a method to image solids, namely bone, has prompted research in this area. The UNB MRI Centre has developed a method of imaging called SPRITE, Single Point Ramped Imaging with T1 Enhancement, that has proven successful in imaging solid like materials such as concrete and plastics (polymers). In this thesis the SPRITE technique has been applied to image bone, a composite material with magnetic resonance characteristics similar to that of polymers. The thesis examines compact bone in the form of ex vivo bovine long bones (femur or humerus) both with and without intact bone marrow. The studies in this thesis further exemplify the power of SPRITE by implementing inversion recovery sequences with SPRITE which are capable of zeroing the marrow signal. The potential significance of this research will be in clinical evaluation of bone for disorders such as osteoporosis. A fast, non-invasive method of examining the detailed structure of bone may save health care billions of dollars through early diagnostics and clinical evaluation of these disorders.