Journal of Tongji Medical University

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 72–76 | Cite as

MR evaluation: Spine changes after radiotherapy

  • Li Xiaoming
  • Wang Chengyuan
  • Zhou Yicheng


To explore the changes in MR findings of the bone marrow of vertebral bodies after radiation therapy, 55 subjects who had been on irradiation treatment were studied. Irradiation dosage ranged from 2100 cGy to 7500 cGy. The interval between radiotherapy and MR examination varied from 7 weeks to 20 years. On T1WI images (T1WI) signal intensity increase of the bone marrow of those vertebral bodies was apparent. The areas with altered signal intensity rendered well-defined margins corresponding to the field of irradiation. The similar finding was found on T2WI. On STIR or T1WI with fat suppression, the signal intensity of the areas was decreased. It is concluded that the changes of signal intensity on SE or STIR sequence is believed to be secondary to diffuse fatty infiltration and the results of replacement of the normal bone marrow by relatively increased yellow bone marrow.

Key words

MRI radiotherapy spine 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Knospe W H, Blom J, Crosby W H. Regeneration of locally irradiated bone marrow. I. Dose dependent, long-term changes in the rat with particular emphasis upon vascular and stromal reaction. Blood, 1966, 28:398PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Yankelevitz D F, Henschke C I, Knapp P Het al. Effect of radiation therapy on thoracic and lumbar bone marrow: Evaluation with MR imaging. AJR, 1991, 157:87PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ramsay R G, Zacharias C E. MR imaging of the sppine after radiation therapy: Easily recongnizable effects. AJR, 1985, 144:1131Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Stevens S K, Moore S G, Kaplan I D. Early and late bone-marrow changes after irradiation: MR evaluation. AJR, 1990, 154:745PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lehar T J. Effect of focal irradiation on human bone marrow. AJR, 1996, 96:183Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Sykes M P, Chu F H, Wilkerson W G. Local bone marrow changes secondary to therapeutic irradiation. Radiology, 1960, 75:919PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Rosethal D I, Hayes C W, Rosen Bet al. Fatty replacement of spinal bone marrow due to radiation: demonstration by dual energy quantitative CT and MR imaging. J Comput Assist Tomography, 1989, 13:463CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Li Xiaoming
    • 1
  • Wang Chengyuan
    • 1
  • Zhou Yicheng
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Radiology, Tongji HospitalTongji Medical UniversityWuhan

Personalised recommendations