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Keywords:

  • high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT);
  • high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (HR-MRI);
  • bone microarchitecture;
  • bone quality

The noninvasive quantification of peripheral compartment-specific bone microarchitecture is feasible with high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT) and high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (HR-MRI). In addition to classic morphometric indices, both techniques provide a suitable basis for virtual biomechanical testing using finite element (FE) analyses. Methodical limitations, morphometric parameter definition, and motion artifacts have to be considered to achieve optimal data interpretation from imaging studies. With increasing availability of in vivo high-resolution bone imaging techniques, special emphasis should be put on quality control including multicenter, cross-site validations. Importantly, conclusions from interventional studies investigating the effects of antiosteoporotic drugs on bone microarchitecture should be drawn with care, ideally involving imaging scientists, translational researchers, and clinicians.