Proton density water fraction as a biomarker of bone marrow cellularity: Validation in ex vivo spine specimens

Iain J. MacEwan, Nicholas E. Glembotski, Darryl D'Lima, Won Bae, Koichi Masuda, Hooman Rashidi, Loren K. Mell, Mark Bydder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to evaluate a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique for quantifying the proton density water fraction (PDWF) as a biomarker of bone marrow cellularity. Thirty-six human bone marrow specimens from 18 donors were excised and subjected to different measurements of tissue composition: PDWF quantification using a multiple gradient echo MRI technique, three biochemical assays (triglyceride, total lipid and water content) and a histological assessment of cellularity. Results showed a strong correlation between PDWF and bone marrow cellularity from histology (. r=. 0.72). A strong correlation was also found between PDWF and the biochemical assay of water content (. r=. 0.76). These results suggest the PDWF is a predictor of bone marrow cellularity in tissues and can provide a non-invasive assessment of bone marrow changes in clinical patients undergoing radiotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1097-1101
Number of pages5
JournalMagnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014



  • Bone marrow
  • Cellularity
  • Fat quantification
  • MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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