Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 29, Issue 12, pp 1064–1073 | Cite as

Structural and Radiological Parameters for the Nondestructive Characterization of Trabecular Bone

  • V. Pattijn
  • T. Van Cleynenbreugel
  • J. Vander Sloten
  • R. Van Audekercke
  • G. Van der Perre
  • M. Wevers


Trabecular bone is characterized by compositional and organizational factors. The former include porosity at microlevel and mineralization. The latter refer to the trabecular architecture. Both determine the mechanical properties of the trabecular bone. The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between the mechanical properties and the local HU value, the bone mineral density, the in vitro histomorphometric properties assessed by means of microcomputed tomography, and the Young's modulus determined by ultrasound measurement. Also the correlation between local HU values based on CT data of the full bone and HU values based on CT data of excised trabecular bone cylinders is investigated. Therefore density and strength related parameters of 22 trabecular bone cylinders retrieved from a fresh cadaver femur were measured by using different techniques. The mean HU value of the excised bone samples is very highly correlated with the pQCT density (R2=0.95) and the μCT-based morphometric parameter BV/TV (R2=0.95). The mean HU values, determined from the CT images of the planned and excised bone samples, are less highly correlated (R2=0.75). The Young's modulus EUS determined from the ultrasound measurement is highly correlated with the maximal stress σ max (R2=0.88) but not with the mechanically determined Young's modulus Emech (R2=0.67). The maximal stress σ max correlates well with the density parameters (R2 varies between 0.76 and 0.86). On the contrary the mechanically determined Young's modulus Emech does not correlate well with the density parameters (R2 varies between 0.52 and 0.56). The absorbed energy Eabs during the deformation is only highly correlated with the maximal stress σ max (R2=0.83). The inclusion of structural parameters besides a density related parameter did improve the prediction of the Young's modulus and the maximal stress. In conclusion, it seems that the HU value from clinical CT scanning is a good predictor of the local bone density and volume fraction. A combination of local density and a measure of the structural anisotropy is clearly needed to achieve good predictions of bone mechanics. © 2001 Biomedical Engineering Society.

PAC01: 8719Rr, 8759Ls, 4380Ev, 8759Fm, 4335Zc, 8170Cv

pQCT μCT Ultrasonography HU value Mechanical compression 


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Copyright information

© Biomedical Engineering Society 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Pattijn
    • 1
  • T. Van Cleynenbreugel
    • 1
  • J. Vander Sloten
    • 1
  • R. Van Audekercke
    • 1
  • G. Van der Perre
    • 1
  • M. Wevers
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Biomechanics and Engineering DesignK.U.LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Metallurgy and Materials EngineeringK.U.LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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