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Biomed Eng Online. 2013 Nov 9;12:115. doi: 10.1186/1475-925X-12-115.

Trabecular bone structural parameters evaluated using dental cone-beam computed tomography: cellular synthetic bones.

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School of Dentistry, College of Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung 404, Taiwan.



This study compared the adequacy of dental cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) and micro computed tomography (micro-CT) in evaluating the structural parameters of trabecular bones.


The cellular synthetic bones in 4 density groups (Groups 1-4: 0.12, 0.16, 0.20, and 0.32 g/cm3) were used in this study. Each group comprised 8 experimental specimens that were approximately 1 cm3. Dental CBCT and micro-CT scans were conducted on each specimen to obtain independent measurements of the following 4 trabecular bone structural parameters: bone volume fraction (BV/TV), specific bone surface (BS/BV), trabecular thickness (Tb.Th.), and trabecular separation (Tb.Sp.). Wilcoxon signed ranks tests were used to compare the measurement variations between the dental CBCT and micro-CT scans. A Spearman analysis was conducted to calculate the correlation coefficients (r) of the dental CBCT and micro-CT measurements.


Of the 4 groups, the BV/TV and Tb.Th. measured using dental CBCT were larger compared with those measured using micro-CT. By contrast, the BS/BV measured using dental CBCT was significantly less compared with those measured using micro-CT. Furthermore, in the low-density groups (Groups 1 and 2), the Tb.Sp. measured using dental CBCT was smaller compared with those measured using micro-CT. However, the Tb.Sp. measured using dental CBCT was slightly larger in the high-density groups (Groups 3 and 4) than it was in the low density groups. The correlation coefficients between the BV/TV, BS/BV, Tb.Th., and Tb.Sp. values measured using dental CBCT and micro-CT were 0.9296 (p < .001), 0.8061 (p < .001), 0.9390 (p < .001), and 0.9583 (p < .001), respectively. Although the dental CBCT and micro-CT approaches exhibited high correlations, the absolute values of BV/TV, BS/BV, Tb.Th., Tb.Sp. differed significantly between these measurements. Additional studies must be conducted to evaluate using dental CBCT in clinical practice.

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