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Med Image Anal. 2015 Feb;20(1):249-64. doi: 10.1016/j.media.2014.11.012. Epub 2014 Dec 5.

Independent measurement of femoral cortical thickness and cortical bone density using clinical CT.

Author information

1
University of Cambridge, Department of Engineering, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1PZ, UK. Electronic address: gmt11@cam.ac.uk.
2
University of Cambridge, Department of Engineering, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1PZ, UK. Electronic address: ahg13@cam.ac.uk.

Abstract

The local structure of the proximal femoral cortex is of interest since both fracture risk, and the effects of various interventions aimed at reducing that risk, are associated with cortical properties focused in particular regions rather than dispersed over the whole bone. Much of the femoral cortex is less than 3mm thick, appearing so blurred in clinical CT that its actual density is not apparent in the data, and neither thresholding nor full-width half-maximum techniques are capable of determining its width. Our previous work on cortical bone mapping showed how to produce more accurate estimates of cortical thickness by assuming a fixed value of the cortical density for each hip. However, although cortical density varies much less over the proximal femur than thickness, what little variation there is leads to errors in thickness measurement. In this paper, we develop the cortical bone mapping technique by exploiting local estimates of imaging blur to correct the global density estimate, thus providing a local density estimate as well as more accurate estimates of thickness. We also consider measurement of cortical mass surface density and the density of trabecular bone immediately adjacent to the cortex. Performance is assessed with ex vivo clinical QCT scans of proximal femurs, with true values derived from high resolution HRpQCT scans of the same bones. We demonstrate superior estimation of thickness than is possible with alternative techniques (accuracy 0.12 ± 0.39 mm for cortices in the range 1-3mm), and that local cortical density estimation is feasible for densities >800 mg/cm(3).

KEYWORDS:

Bone mineral density; Computed tomography; Cortical thickness; Hip fracture

PMID:
25541355
DOI:
10.1016/j.media.2014.11.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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