T2 vertebral bone marrow changes after space flight

A. LeBlanc, C. Lin, H. Evans, L. Shackelford, C. Martin, T. Hedrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Bone biopsies indicate that during immobilization bone marrow adipose tissue increases while the functional cellular fraction decreases. One objective of our Spacelab flight experiment was to determine, using in vivo volume-localized magnetic resonance spectroscopy (VLMRS), whether bone marrow composition was altered by space flight. Four crew members of a 17 day Spacelab mission participated in the experiment. The apparent cellular fraction and transverse relaxation time (T2) were determined twice before launch and at several times after flight. Immediately after flight, no significant change in the cellular fraction was found. However, the T2 of the cellular, but not the fat component increased following flight, although to a variable extent, in all crew members with a time course for return to baseline lasting several months. The T2 of seven control subjects showed no significant change. Although these observations may have several explanations, it is speculated that the observed T2 changes might reflect increased marrow osteoblastic activity during recovery from space flight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-498
Number of pages4
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999


  • Immobilization
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Microgravity
  • Volume-localized magnetic resonance spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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