JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Measurement of lesion area and volume by three-dimensional spoiled gradient-echo MR imaging in osteonecrosis of the femoral head.

The purpose of this investigation is to evaluate the diagnostic ability of three-dimensional spoiled gradient-echo (3D SPGR) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in cases of osteonecrosis of the femoral head (ONFH), and to determine the accuracy of 3D SPGR imaging in area and volume measurement of ONFH. T1-weighted spin-echo (SE) and 3D SPGR imaging were performed on 20 femoral heads obtained from patients with ONFH. After MR imaging, the femoral heads were cut parallel to the imaging plane and were evaluated histologically. Areas and volumes of necrotic lesions were measured with a computer program and the deviation between MR images and anatomical measurements was evaluated. A low signal intensity band on 3D SPGR MR images was observed in all femoral heads and corresponded histologically to repaired marrow with viable fibrous mesenchymal tissue. The area proximate to the low band area coincided with the necrotic region. Both area and volume measurements by T1-weighted SE and 3D SPGR images showed a strong correlation to histological measurements. The discrepancies between histological and imaging results were minimal in 3D SPGR imaging, especially at the anterior and posterior portions of the femoral head. Three-dimensional SPGR imaging provides more accurate measurements of the area and volume of a necrotic lesion than T1-weighted SE imaging.

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