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Original Article
IDEAL-IQ combined with Micro-CT to assess the quantitative correlation of bone marrow fat content and trabecular bone microstructure in rabbit type 1 diabetes
ZHANG Tian  LI Liang  FEI Ziyan  GAO Yufan  WANG Yan  YAN Yuchen  ZHA Yunfei 


[Abstract] Objective To assess the correlation between bone marrow fat content and trabecular microstructure in the lumbar spine of type 1 diabetic rabbits using the iterative decomposition of water and fat with echo asymmetry and least-squares estimation quantitation sequence (IDEAL-IQ) in conjunction with micro computed tomography (Micro-CT).Materials and Methods Sixteen male Japanese white rabbits were randomly divided into a diabetes group (n=8) and a control group (n=8), with the diabetes group induced with alloxan. The IDEAL-IQ quantification sequence was used to evaluate the bone marrow fat content in the lumbar spine of the rabbits at 0, 4, 8, 12, and 16 weeks after the induction of diabetes. Micro-CT and histopathological examinations were conducted at 16 weeks to quantitatively evaluate the trabecular microstructure in the lumbar spine of the rabbits. Differences in the lumbar spine IDEAL-IQ fat fraction at different time points were compared using repeated measures analysis of variance. Differences in the fat fraction, Micro-CT trabecular morphometric parameters, and histopathological parameters between the groups at the same time point were compared using independent sample t-tests or Mann-Whitney U tests. The Pearson correlation coefficient was used to evaluate the correlation between bone marrow fat content and trabecular morphometric parameters and histopathological parameters.Results The bone marrow fat content of the diabetes group showed an upward trend over time, and the difference was statistically significant (P<0.05), while there was no significant statistical difference in fat content at each time point in the control group (P>0.05). The fat fraction of the diabetes group was significantly higher than that of the control group at week 16 (59.987±4.859 vs. 51.015±8.469, P<0.05). The diabetes group had lower bone volume, tissue surface, bone surface, bone surface density, trabecular number, but higher trabecular separation than the control group, and the differences were statistically significant (P<0.05). Histopathological results showed that at week 16, compared with the control group, the number of adipocytes in the lumbar vertebral bone marrow of diabetic rabbits increased (32.875±11.051 vs. 71.667±13.125, P<0.01), while the number of trabeculae (11.375±1.506 vs. 4.333±1.211, P<0.01) and the trabecular area (0.927±0.071 vs. 0.312±0.100, P<0.01) decreased significantly. The IDEAL-IQ fat score was positively correlated with histopathological adipocyte count (r=0.539 95% CI: 0.012-0.832), and was moderately positively correlated with trabecular pattern factor, structure model index, and trabecular separation. It was negatively correlated with bone mineral density, total volume, bone volume, bone volume fraction, total surface area, bone surface area, bone surface area to volume ratio, bone surface area to total volume ratio, and trabecular number, showing a mild to moderate negative correlation.Conclusions There is a correlation between the bone marrow adipose tissue content and the microstructural changes in lumbar vertebrae in type 1 diabetes. The multimodal quantitative imaging technique combining IDEAL-IQ and Micro-CT holds promise for providing a comprehensive assessment strategy for the bone marrow microenvironment in type 1 diabetes.
[Keywords] diabetes mellitus;magnetic resonance imaging;IDEAL-IQ;Micro-CT;bone marrow adipose tissue;bone trabecula;bone microstructure;bone marrow microenvironment

ZHANG Tian   LI Liang   FEI Ziyan   GAO Yufan   WANG Yan   YAN Yuchen   ZHA Yunfei*  

Department of Radiology, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan 430060, China

Corresponding author: Zha YF, E-mail: zhayunfei999@

Conflicts of interest   None.

Received  2023-01-12
Accepted  2023-04-24
DOI: 10.12015/issn.1674-8034.2023.05.025

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