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J Acoust Soc Am. 2017 Jan;141(1):575. doi: 10.1121/1.4973572.

Porosity predicted from ultrasound backscatter using multivariate analysis can improve accuracy of cortical bone thickness assessment.

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Diagnostic Imaging Center, Kuopio University Hospital, P.O. Box 100, FI-70029, Kuopio, Finland.
Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 1627, FI-70211, Kuopio, Finland.


A rapidly growing area of interest in quantitative ultrasound assessment of bone is to determine cortical bone porosity from ultrasound backscatter. Current backscatter analyses are based on numerical simulations, while there are no published reports of successful experimental measurements. In this study, multivariate analysis is applied to ultrasound reflections and backscatter to predict cortical bone porosity. The porosity is then applied to estimate cortical bone radial speed of sound (SOS) and thickness using ultrasound backscatter signals obtained at 2.25 and 5 MHz center frequencies from cortical bone samples (n = 43) extracted from femoral diaphyses. The study shows that the partial least squares regression technique could be employed to successfully predict (R2 = 0.71-0.73) cortical porosity. It is found that this multivariate approach can reduce uncertainty in pulse-echo assessment of cortical bone thickness from 0.220 to 0.045 mm when porosity based radial SOS was applied, instead of a constant value from literature. Upon further validation, accurate estimation of cortical bone porosity and thickness may be applied as a financially viable option for fracture risk assessment of individuals.


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