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J Biomech. 2013 Apr 26;46(7):1396-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2013.02.015. Epub 2013 Mar 26.

Heterogeneity of bone mineral density and fatigue failure of human vertebrae.

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1
Section of Biomechanics, Bone and Joint Center, Henry Ford Hospital, Henry Ford Health System, 2799 West Grand Boulevard Detroit, MI, 48202-2689 USA. yeni@bjc.hfh.edu

Abstract

There is increasing interest in using the heterogeneity of tissue properties in a bone for predicting its fracture risk. Heterogeneity of volumetric bone mineral density (BMD) as measured from quantitative computed tomography (QCT) is of particular interest as these measurements are clinically feasible. Previous examinations of the relationship between the BMD heterogeneity and the mechanical behavior of human vertebrae only considered quasistatic strength and were with limited number of samples. McCubbrey et al. (1995) studied the value of regional BMDs for predicting vertebral fatigue life, determined from short-cycle tests at force levels scaled with the estimated strength of the vertebra, but the focus of that work was in best predictor subsets without a specific focus on the heterogeneity of BMD or the positive vs negative direction of the relationships. The previous analysis also did not take into account the censored nature of the fatigue life data. As such, whether BMD heterogeneity is positively or negatively associated with fatigue life and whether this is independent of the average or minimum BMD are not clear. In the present work, we revisited the McCubbrey data for a preliminary examination of the relationship between BMD heterogeneity and fatigue life using survival analysis. The analysis suggests that BMD heterogeneity measured as the intra-vertebral standard deviation of BMDs in a vertebra is negatively associated with short cycle (high-amplitude) fatigue life independent of the average BMD. The results motivate further studies on the role of BMD heterogeneity in fatigue failure and clinical fracture risk of human vertebrae.

PMID:
23538003
PMCID:
PMC3628284
DOI:
10.1016/j.jbiomech.2013.02.015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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