Hematopoietic and fatty bone marrow distribution in the normal and ischemic hip: new observations with 1.5-T MR imaging.
The conversion of hematopoietic to fatty marrow is known to correlate with physiologic decreases in intramedullary blood flow. To determine whether the chronology of conversion is altered in patients with hip ischemia, T1-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) images of the hips in 50 healthy people and 27 with documented avascular necrosis (AVN) were reviewed. The distribution of fatty (high-signal) versus hematopoietic (low-signal) marrow was noted with respect to age. All patients had fatty marrow in the femoral capital epiphysis and greater trochanter. Hematopoietic intertrochanteric marrow was seen in 95% (80 of 84) of femurs in control subjects less than 50 years old, but in only 12.5% (two of 16) of those in control subjects older than 50 years (P less than .005). Only 33% (19 of 57) of patients less than 50 years with AVN had predominantly hematopoietic intertrochanteric marrow (P less than .005). The early conversion to fatty marrow in most patients with AVN as depicted by MR imaging may be an effect of decreased vascularity of the proximal femur and may allow the identification of patients at increased risk for AVN.
Mitchell, DG; Rao, VM; Dalinka, M; Spritzer, CE; Axel, L; Gefter, W; Kricun, M; Steinberg, ME; Kressel, HY
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