Bone texture analysis is correlated with three-dimensional microarchitecture and mechanical properties of trabecular bone in osteoporotic femurs

Thomas Le Corroller, Martine Pithioux, Fahmi Chaari, Benoît Rosa, Sébastien Parratte, Boris Maurel, Jean-Noël Argenson, Pierre Champsaur, Patrick Chabrand
Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism 2013, 31 (1): 82-8
Fracture of the proximal femur is a major public health problem in elderly persons. It has recently been suggested that combining texture analysis and bone mineral density measurement improves the failure load prediction in human femurs. In this study, we aimed to compare bone texture analysis with three-dimensional (3D) microarchitecture and mechanical properties of trabecular bone in osteoporotic femurs. Eight femoral heads from osteoporotic patients who fractured their femoral neck provided 31 bone cores. Bone samples were studied using a new high-resolution digital X-ray device (BMA™, D3A Medical Systems) allowing for texture analysis with fractal parameter H (mean), and were examined using micro-computed tomography (microCT) for 3D microarchitecture. Finally, uniaxial compression tests to failure were performed to estimate failure load and apparent modulus of bone samples. The fractal parameter H (mean) was strongly correlated with bone volume fraction (BV/TV) (r = 0.84) and trabecular thickness (Tb.Th) (r = 0.91) (p < 0.01). H (mean) was also markedly correlated with failure load (r = 0.84) and apparent modulus (r = 0.71) of core samples (p < 0.01). Bone volume fraction (BV/TV) and trabecular thickness (Tb.Th) demonstrated significant correlations with failure load (r = 0.85 and 0.72, respectively) and apparent modulus (r = 0.72 and 0.64, respectively) (p < 0.01). Overall, the best predictors of failure load were H (mean), bone volume fraction, and trabecular thickness, with r (2) coefficients of 0.83, 0.76, and 0.80 respectively. This study shows that the fractal parameter H (mean) is correlated with 3D microCT parameters and mechanical properties of femoral head bone samples, which suggests that radiographic texture analysis is a suitable approach for trabecular bone microarchitecture assessment in osteoporotic femurs.

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