Estimation of Femoral Head Bone Density Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Comparison Between Men With and Without Hip Osteoarthritis

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Bone changes are thought to be one important etiological element in the pathogenesis of hip osteoarthritis (OA). The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-derived T2* relaxation time has been shown to provide information about bone mineral status of the femoral neck. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that the MRI-derived T2* relaxation time of the proximal femur in hip OA differs from that seen in healthy subjects. Based on the American College of Rheumatology criteria regarding classification of the OA of the hip, 27 men (aged 47–64 yr) with unilateral or bilateral hip OA and 30 age-matched randomly selected healthy men were studied. Bone mineral density (BMD), bone mineral content (BMC), and bone width of the femoral neck were measured with dualenergy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Subsequently, T2* measurements were performed with a 1.5-T scanner (Siemens Magnetom 63SP; Erlangen, Germany). A single 10-mm-thick coronal slice was generated on the femur, with a repetition time of 60 ms and nine echo times (4–20 ms) to derive T2* values. T2* measurements were performed from the different region of interests (ROIs) from the femoral neck and head. T2* relaxation times showed significant negative correlations with BMC, BMD (r = −0.401 to −0.794; p < 0.05–0.001). T2* relaxation time values revealed no significant differences between the groups in the femoral neck and in the head of the femur, whereas it was 12% lower (p < 0.01) in OA subjects than in controls in acetabulum. There were no significant differences in the T2* relaxation time values between the radiographic OA subgroups. Our findings suggest that hip OA is not associated with an increase of BMD in the femoral neck or in the head of the femur.

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