Among the new spinoffs of MRI technology is the recently developed method of assessing bone marrow flow, which can provide valuable information on the abnormal cells in the marrow in conditions such as leukemia or multiple myeloma. The most common method to measure perfusion in the body using MRI is T1-weighted dynamic contrast enhancement (DCE-MRI). The analysis of DCE-MRI data allows determining the perfusion and permeability of a biological tissue.
This is an exciting new deveopment but the technology itself is still being refined and tested. A few papers have appeared that clearly define its role in assessment of therapy and prognostic significance. It is already beng studied in various cancers that invade the marrow as well as in the assessment of fractures and osteoporosis but much more work needs to be done before it will become widely accepted.
Meletios Dimopoulos et al, Consensus recommendations for standard investigative workup: report of the International Myeloma Workshop Consensus Panel 3 Blood May 5, 2011 vol. 117 no. 18 4701-4705
Biffar A, Schmidt GP, Sourbron S, D’Anastasi M, Dietrich O, Notohamiprodjo M, Reiser MF, Baur-Melnyk A. . Quantitative analysis of vertebral bone marrow perfusion using dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI: initial results in osteoporotic patients with acute vertebral fracture.J Magn Reson Imaging. 2011 Mar;33(3):676-83
Raya JG, Dietrich O, Reiser MF, Baur-Melnyk A. Methods and applications of diffusion imaging of vertebral bone marrow. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2006 Dec; 24(6):1207-20.
Nicolas Michoux. Evaluation of DCE-MRI postprocessing techniques to assess metastatic bone marrow in patients with prostate cancer Clinical Imaging Volume 36, Issue 4 , Pages 308-315, July 2012
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