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Three-dimensional microcomputed tomography imaging of basic multicellular unit-related resorption spaces in human cortical bone.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedics, Division of Orthopaedic Engineering Research, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. cooperdv@interchange.ubc.ca

Abstract

This study employed microcomputed tomography (micro-CT) as a novel means for visualizing the morphology and quantifying the range (length) of basic multicellular unit (BMU)-related resorption spaces in human cortical bone. We tested the hypotheses that the density and range of spaces vary with age and sex. The sample included 82 human (18-92 years) anterior femoral midshaft samples. The morphology of the spaces (n = 99) was varied, including unidirectional, bidirectional, branched, and even highly clustered forms. The density of resorption spaces was negatively correlated with age for the combined sexes and females, with Spearman's rho values of -0.355 (P < 0.001) and -0.522 (P = 0.002), respectively. The density of spaces did not differ significantly between the sexes (P = 0.735). Mean range +/- SD for the combined sexes, females, and males was 2,706 +/- 1,177, 2,681 +/- 1,247, and 2,718 +/- 1,150 microm, respectively. Numerical simulation of the effect of the 7,000 microm scan field of view suggested that the actual mean range of the spaces for the pooled sample was actually on the order of 3,770 microm. Range did not correlate significantly with age for the combined sexes (P = 0.587) or females (P = 0.345) and males (P = 0.896) considered separately and was not significantly different (P = 0.883) between the sexes. These results suggest that the range of BMUs is not affected by age. The age-dependent decrease in resorption space density for the females and pooled sexes was most likely a consequence of cortical rarefaction, leading to difficulty detecting resorption spaces with micro-CT, rather than a decrease in overall remodeling activity.

PMID:
16761291
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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