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Med Image Anal. 2007 Feb;11(1):91-8. Epub 2006 Dec 22.

Estimation of the 3D self-similarity parameter of trabecular bone from its 2D projection.

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  • 1Laboratory of Electronics, Signals and Images, GDR-ISIS, UniversitĂ© d'OrlĂ©ans, BP 6744, 45067 Orleans Cedex 2, France.


It has been shown that the analysis of two dimensional (2D) bone X-ray images based on the fractional Brownian motion (fBm) model is a good indicator for quantifying alterations in the three dimensional (3D) bone micro-architecture. However, this 2D measurement is not a direct assessment of the 3D bone properties. In this paper, we first show that S(3D), the self-similarity parameter of 3D fBm, is linked to S(2D), that of its 2D projection, by S(3D)=S(2D)-0.5. In the light of this theoretical result, we have experimentally examined whether this relation holds for trabecular bone. Twenty one specimens of trabecular bone were derived from frozen human femoral heads. They were digitized using a high resolution mu-CT. Their projections were simulated numerically by summing the data in the three orthogonal directions and both 3D and 2D self-similarity parameters were measured. Results show that the self-similarity of the 3D bone volumes and that of their projections are linked by the previous equation. This demonstrates that a simple projection provides 3D information about the bone structure. This information can be a valuable adjunct to the bone mineral density for the early diagnosis of osteoporosis.

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