Calcified Tissue International

, Volume 102, Issue 6, pp 644–650 | Cite as

Cortical Fractal Analysis and Collagen Crosslinks Content in Femoral Neck After Osteoporotic Fracture in Postmenopausal Women: Comparison with Osteoarthritis

  • Gustavo Davi Rabelo
  • Jean-Paul Roux
  • Nathalie Portero-Muzy
  • Evelyne Gineyts
  • Roland Chapurlat
  • Pascale Chavassieux
Original Research


The femoral neck (FN) has been previously characterized by thinner cortices in osteoporotic fracture (HF) when compared to hip osteoarthritis (HOA). The purposes of this study were to complete the previous investigations on FNs from HF and HOA by analyzing the complexity of the cortical structure and to approach the intrinsic properties of cortical bone by assessing the collagen crosslink contents. FN samples were obtained during arthroplasty in 35 postmenopausal women (HF; n = 17; mean age 79 ± 2 years; HOA; n = 18; mean age 66 ± 2 years). The cortical fractal dimension (Ct.FD) and lacunarity (Ct.Lac) derived from high-resolution peripheral quantitative tomography (isotropic voxel size: 82 μm) images of FN by using Ctan software and Fraclac running in ImageJ were analyzed. The collagen crosslinks content [pyridinoline, deoxypyridinoline, pentosidine (PEN)] were assessed in cortical bone. Ct.FD was significantly lower (p < 0.0001) in HF than HOA reflecting a decreased complexity and was correlated to the age and BMD. In two sub-groups, BMD- and age-matched, respectively, Ct.FD remained significantly lower in HF than HOA (p < 0.001). Ct.Lac was not different between HF and HOA. PEN content was two times higher in HF than HOA (p < 0.0001) independently of age. In conclusion, FN with HF was characterized by a less complex cortical texture and higher PEN content than HOA. In addition to the decreased bone mass and BMD previously reported, these modifications contribute to the lower bone quality in HF than HOA in postmenopausal women.


Cortical bone Osteoporosis Femoral neck Lacunarity Fractal dimension 



The author Gustavo Davi Rabelo thanks the “Ciência sem Fronteiras - Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico/Brasil” (Processo número 245336/2012-5) for the Post-doc scholarship.

Author Contribution

GDR and PC designed the study and were evolved in all phases of the study and in writing the manuscript. JPR, NPM, and EG contributed to the experimental work and drafting the results. GDR, JPR, and PC were responsible for statistical analysis of the data. RC was responsible for the discussion of the results and supervision. All authors revised the paper critically for intellectual content and approved the final version. All authors agree to be accountable for the work and to ensure that any questions relating to the accuracy and integrity of the paper are investigated and properly resolved.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.INSERM UMR 1033, Université de LyonLyonFrance
  2. 2.INSERM UMR 1033, UFR de Médecine Lyon-EstLyon Cedex 08France

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