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Keywords:

  • sickle cell disease;
  • mandible;
  • bone marrow;
  • relaxometry;
  • quantitative MRI

Abstract

Purpose:

To identify and characterize sickle cell disease (SCD)-related changes in the composition of mandibular bone marrow using qMRI relaxometry histograms.

Materials and Methods:

Thirteen SCD patients and 17 controls underwent brain MR imaging with the mixed turbo spin-echo (TSE) pulse sequence at 1.5T. The mandible was manually segmented and divided into body, angle, ramus, and condyle. T1 and T2 histograms of each mandible were modeled with Gaussian functions. The relaxation time histogram peaks were calculated, and the number of monomodal versus bimodal curves was compared.

Results:

SCD patients exhibited monomodal distributions on both T1 and T2 histograms, consistent with a composition of predominantly red hematopoietic marrow. Eighty-eight percent of mandibles in control subjects exhibited a bimodal distribution in T1 and all showed a bimodal distribution in T2, indicating mixed but predominantly yellow marrow composition. The second peak in control subjects was shorter in T1 and longer in T2, consistent with yellow marrow composition.

Conclusion:

Instead of physiological fatty replacement, SCD patients exhibit red marrow persistence in the mandible, likely due to the increased demand for hematopoiesis. This phenomenon can be manifested by a monomodal curve in both T1 and T2 relaxometric histograms. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2013;37:1182–1188. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.