Skeletal Radiology

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 149–155 | Cite as

Three-dimensional trabecular bone architecture of the lumbar spine in bone metastasis from prostate cancer: comparison with degenerative sclerosis

  • Tsutomu Tamada
  • Teruki Sone
  • Yoshimasa Jo
  • Shigeki Imai
  • Yasumasa Kajihara
  • Masao Fukunaga
Scientific Article



Prostate cancer frequently metastasizes to bone, inducing osteosclerotic lesions. The objective of this study was to clarify the three-dimensional (3D) trabecular bone microstructure in bone metastasis from prostate cancer by comparison with normal and degenerative sclerotic bone lesions, using microcomputed tomography (micro-CT).

Design and materials

A total of 32 cancellous bone samples were excised from the lumbar spine of six autopsy patients: 15 metastatic samples (one patient), eight degenerative sclerotic samples (four patients) and the rest from normal sites (three patients). The samples were serially scanned cross-sectionally by micro-CT with a pixel size of 23.20 µm, slice thickness of 18.56 µm, and image matrix of 512×512. Each image data set consisted of 250 consecutive slices. The volumes of interest (96×96×120 voxels) were defined in the original image sets and 3D indices of the trabecular microstructure were determined.


The trabecular thickness (Tb.Th) in degenerative sclerotic lesions was significantly higher than that in normal sites, whereas no significant difference was observed in trabecular number (Tb.N). By contrast, in metastatic lesions, the Tb.N was significantly higher with increased bone volume fraction (BV/TV) than in normal sites, and no significant difference was found in Tb.Th. The characteristics of the trabecular surface in the metastatic samples showed concave structural elements with an increase in BV/TV, indicating osteolysis of the trabecular bone. In 3D reconstructed images, increased trabecular bone with an irregular surface was observed in samples from metastatic sites, which were uniformly sclerotic on soft X-ray radiographs.


These results support, through 3D morphological features, the strong bone resorption effect in bone metastasis from prostate cancer.


Microcomputed tomography (micro-CT) Trabecular bone Three-dimensional (3D) structure Bone metastases Prostate cancer Osteosclerosis 


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Copyright information

© ISS 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tsutomu Tamada
    • 1
  • Teruki Sone
    • 1
  • Yoshimasa Jo
    • 2
  • Shigeki Imai
    • 1
  • Yasumasa Kajihara
    • 1
  • Masao Fukunaga
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyKawasaki Medical SchoolKurashikiJapan
  2. 2.Department of UrologyKawasaki Medical SchoolKurashikiJapan

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