Rofo 2021; 193(06): 692-700
DOI: 10.1055/a-1313-7664
Pediatric Radiology

Applicability of Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Bone Age Estimation in the Context of Medical Issues

Article in several languages: English | deutsch
Vera Diete
1  Department for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Ulm Medical Centre, Ulm, Germany
,
Martin Wabitsch
2  Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, University Ulm Medical Centre, Ulm, Germany
,
Christian Denzer
2  Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, University Ulm Medical Centre, Ulm, Germany
,
Horst Jäger
3  Radiologische Praxis, Ulm, Germany
,
Elke Hauth
3  Radiologische Praxis, Ulm, Germany
,
Meinrad Beer
1  Department for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Ulm Medical Centre, Ulm, Germany
,
Daniel Vogele
1  Department for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Ulm Medical Centre, Ulm, Germany
› Author Affiliations

Abstract

Objective The determination of bone age is a method for analyzing biological age and structural maturity. Bone age estimation is predominantly used in the context of medical issues, for example in endocrine diseases or growth disturbance. As a rule, conventional X-ray images of the left wrist and hand are used for this purpose. The aim of the present study is to investigate the extent to which MRI can be used as a radiation-free alternative for bone age assessment.

Methods In 50 patients, 19 females and 31 males, in addition to conventional left wrist and hand radiographs, MRI was performed with T1-VIBE (n = 50) and T1-TSE (n = 34). The average age was 11.87 years (5.08 to 17.50 years). Bone age assessment was performed by two experienced investigators blinded for chronological age according to the most widely used standard of Greulich and Pyle. This method relies on a subjective comparison of hand radiographs with gender-specific reference images from Caucasian children and adolescents. In addition to interobserver and intraobserver variability, the correlation between conventional radiographs and MRI was determined using the Pearson correlation coefficient.

Results Between the bone age determined from the MRI data and the results of the conventional X-ray images, a very good correlation was found for both T1-VIBE with r = 0.986 and T1-TSE with r = 0.982. Gender differences did not arise. The match for the interobserver variability was very good: r = 0.985 (CR), 0.966 (T1-VIBE) and 0.971 (T1-TSE) as well as the match for the intraobserver variability for investigator A (CR = 0.994, T1-VIBE = 0.995, T1-TSE = 0.998) and for investigator B (CR = 0.994, T1-VIBE = 0.993, T1-TSE = 0.994).

Conclusion The present study shows that MRI of the left wrist and hand can be used as a possible radiation-free alternative to conventional X-ray imaging for bone age estimation in the context of medical issues.

Key points:

  • MRI and X-ray show a very good correlation for bone age determination in medical issues.

  • With short examination times, T1 VIBE shows slight advantages over T1 TSE.

  • Both investigators show high intra- and interobserver variability.

Citation Format

  • Diete V, Wabitsch M, Denzer C et al. Applicability of Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Bone Age Estimation in the Context of Medical Issues. Fortschr Röntgenstr 2021; 193: 692 – 700



Publication History

Received: 29 June 2020

Accepted: 01 November 2020

Publication Date:
17 December 2020 (online)

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