BoneMRI: a valuable tool for paediatric patients

Researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital compare BoneMRI with conventional CT of the hip in children.

The pelvis of a 14-year old female with mild acetabular dysplasia, visualised with BoneMRI (top) and conventional CT (bottom). The arrows indicate the growth plates that have not fused at the iliac apophyses and lateral sacral alae. Image courtesy of Dr. Bixby.

Utrecht, 26 March, 2024 – “MRI-based synthetic CT (BoneMRI) is a radiation-free imaging alternative to CT that enables efficient bone segmentation for creation of 3D models for surgical planning”, concluded a recent study conducted by researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital, conducted by Jade Iwasaka-Neder and colleagues, including M. Alejandra Bedoya, James Connors, Simon Warfield, and Sarah Bixby.

“It should be considered a viable tool in the preoperative assessment of children with hip disorders that could replace conventional CT”.

The study, called “Morphometric and clinical comparison of MRI-based synthetic CT to conventional CT of the hip in children”, examined the utility of BoneMRI for the evaluation of hip morphology and physeal status, comparing it to conventional CT imaging.

Involving 19 paediatric patients with a mean age of 16.6 years old, the study measured morphologic hip parameters, physeal maturity status, and Hounsfield units in bone, muscle and fat tissue. Additionally, images were qualitatively scored to ensure thorough evaluation.

BoneMRI (top) and conventional CT(bottom) of the right hip of a 15-year-old female undergoing pre-surgical evaluation for hip impingement. Image courtesy of Dr. Bixby.

Based on their findings, the researchers concluded that BoneMRI is equivalent to conventional CT in evaluating hip morphology, physeal status, and radiodensity in paediatric patients. They support BoneMRI as a viable alternative to conventional CT in the preoperative assessment of children with hip disorders.

This publication shows how BoneMRI can provide detailed imaging of bone and soft tissue while eliminating radiation exposure makes BoneMRI particularly valuable in this population.