Proximal Femoral Anthropometry by Computed Tomography
Age-related and pediatric disorders of the hip are common and confer strong risk factors for current and future disability. Because many of these disorders are associated with variations in proximal femoral structure, the study of the anthropometry of the hip has been of considerable interest to the medical research community. Imaging has become critical to the evaluation of human proximal femoral morphology in clinical research studies and in surgical practice. Using this overall approach, a simple radiograph or a computed tomography (CT) scan may be obtained, and landmarks identified either on radiographic films or digital images. As long as the physical size of the pixels is known, the distance between landmarks may be quantified. In this chapter, we will describe the use of computed tomography (CT) images for morphological assessment of the proximal femur. CT images provide a full three-dimensional assessment of the hip bone, allowing for morphometric analysis of both external and internal structures. Because of the inherently volumetric nature of the data, the orientation of the CT image can be standardized, allowing for reproducible metrics of size and distance. The discussion of CT morphology will be focused on the use of CT to characterize response of the proximal femur to aging, on the limitations of this technique for visualizing anatomic detail, and on practical considerations for using CT in studies of cadaveric specimens and in vivo human studies.
KeywordsFemoral Neck Proximal Femur Linear Attenuation Coefficient Compute Tomography Measurement Partial Volume Average