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Nihon Hoshasen Gijutsu Gakkai Zasshi. 2005 Dec 20;61(12):1592-8.

Fractal analysis of bone architecture at distal radius.

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Department of Radiology, Kawasaki Medical School Hospital.


Bone strength depends on bone quality (architecture, turnover, damage accumulation, and mineralization) as well as bone mass. In this study, human bone architecture was analyzed using fractal image analysis, and the clinical relevance of this method was evaluated. The subjects were 12 healthy female controls and 16 female patients suspected of having osteoporosis (age range, 22-70 years; mean age, 49.1 years). High-resolution CT images of the distal radius were acquired and analyzed using a peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) system. On the same day, bone mineral densities of the lumbar spine (L-BMD), proximal femur (F-BMD), and distal radius (R-BMD) were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). We examined the correlation between the fractal dimension and six bone mass indices. Subjects diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis were divided into two groups (with and without vertebral fracture), and we compared measured values between these two groups. The fractal dimension correlated most closely with L-BMD (r=0.744). The coefficient of correlation between the fractal dimension and L-BMD was very similar to the coefficient of correlation between L-BMD and F-BMD (r=0.783) and the coefficient of correlation between L-BMD and R-BMD (r=0.742). The fractal dimension was the only measured value that differed significantly between both the osteopenic and the osteoporotic subjects with and without vertebral fracture. The present results suggest that the fractal dimension of the distal radius can be reliably used as a bone strength index that reflects bone architecture as well as bone mass.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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