Radiology in the Study of Bone Physiology

Michael V. Kushdilian, Lauren M. Ladd, Richard Gunderman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Rationale and Objectives In this article, we review the core principles of bone physiology alongside imaging examples that demonstrate such principles. Materials and Methods The core principles of bone physiology are reviewed and further solidified with a corresponding abnormal pathophysiologic example. The key principles of bone physiology to be reviewed include the following: (1) formation and growth, (2) maintenance and repair, (3) metabolism and regulation, and (4) neoplastic disease. Lastly, a collection of secondary bone diseases is presented to demonstrate the skeletal manifestations of numerous systemic diseases. With this integrative method, we hope to emphasize the value of using radiology to teach physiology within a clinical context. This is especially relevant now, as many US medical schools undergo curricular reform with more emphasis on integrative interdisciplinary learning. Ultimately, we intend to provide a paradigm for incorporating radiology into the pre-clinical medical curriculum through a review of basic science physiology that underlies key radiographic findings of the skeletal system. Results Radiology is known for its role in helping make diagnoses and clinical decisions. However, radiology is also well suited to enhance medical education by offering the ability to visualize physiology in action. This is especially true in skeletal radiology, where radiographic osseous changes represent a wide range of physiological processes. Therefore, skeletal radiology can be a useful tool for illustrating concepts of physiology that underlie the normal and abnormal radiologic appearances of bone. Conclusion Radiology is an important but underutilized tool for demonstrating concepts in bone physiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1298-1308
Number of pages11
JournalAcademic Radiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • curricular reform
  • medical education
  • medical students
  • physiology
  • radiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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