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Mandibular bone density and fractal dimension in rabbits with induced osteoporosis.

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Department of Orthodontics, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.



Our goal in this investigation was to examine the mandibular bone density and radiographic textural changes and the relationship between mandibular and spinal bone mineral density in an osteoporotic rabbit model.


Three adult female New Zealand white rabbits in each of 4 groups received daily injections of cortisone acetate at a dosage of 0.0 (control), 3.0, 7.5, or 15.0 mg/kg for 4 weeks. The rabbits were then killed, and the mandible and spine of each animal were removed. Digital radiographs (70 kVp, 10 mA, 8 impulses) of the hemimandibles and spines were made. Lateral and anteroposterior bone densities of the lumbar spine (L2) were calculated, and average mandibular interdental bone density, fractal dimension, and gradient values were calculated.


Correlation analysis revealed that cumulative steroid dose was strongly related to mandibular bone density (r = -0.80, P <.01), moderately related to mandibular fractal dimension (r = -0.61, P <. 05), and moderately related to anteroposterior lumbar spine density (r = -0.64, P <.05). Moderate correlations were found between mandibular interdental bone density and spinal density (r = 0.56, P <.05), but mandibular fractal dimension was not related to spinal density.


In osteoporotic female rabbits, mandibular bone mineral density decreases in relation to spinal density and cumulative steroid dose. Mandibular fractal dimension decreases with cumulative steroid dose but is not significantly related to either mandibular density or spinal density.

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