Analysis of bone mineral density distribution at trabecular bones in thoracic and lumbar vertebrae using X-ray CT images
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- Hayashi, T., Chen, H., Miyamoto, K. et al. J Bone Miner Metab (2011) 29: 174. doi:10.1007/s00774-010-0204-1
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The number of participants in thoracic or abdominal examinations using multi-detector-row CT (MDCT) has been increasing recently. If the degree of progress of osteoporosis can be estimated using these images, it may be useful as it will allow predictions of vertebral fractures without an additional radiation exposure. The aims of this study were to investigate segmental variations in bone mineral density (BMD) distributions of thoracic and lumbar vertebral bodies and to show specific differences according to age and gender. A large database including 1,031 Japanese subjects for whom MDCT was used to examine various organs and tissues was utilized in this study for trabecular BMD at thoracic and lumbar vertebrae. In relationship to vertebral level, L3 had the lowest trabecular BMD. BMD tended to gradually increase from L3 to T1 in all age categories. Also, there was a moderate correlation between vertebrae whose distance from each other was great whereas there was a high correlation between adjacent vertebrae. It may be appropriate to use an arbitrary vertebra as a first approximation for assessing vertebrae that are in the area of predilection for the fracture; however, to better understand their behavior, it may be necessary to measure BMD directly in this region. This study showed trabecular BMD distribution at healthy thoracic and lumbar vertebrae in Japanese subjects and specific differences in age and gender. Improved knowledge about vertebral BMD may help with the diagnosis of primary osteoporosis using MDCT.