Comparison of structure extraction methods for in vivo trabecular bone measurements

Comput Med Imaging Graph. Mar-Apr 1999;23(2):69-74. doi: 10.1016/s0895-6111(98)00071-8.


In vivo trabecular bone structure measurements have become available recently using high resolution quantitative computed tomography (3D-QCT) or magnetic resonance imaging. In this work different structure extraction and morphometric evaluation techniques are compared, which are of potential use for in vivo assessment of human cancellous bone structure. Given the spatial resolution of actual in vivo examination procedures, best results are obtained by extracting first the skeleton of the structure and applying model independent 3D techniques to calculate trabecular number, then deriving mean trabecular thickness and separation from densitometric bone volume fraction and Tb.N*. Traditional histomorphometric methods based on bone surface and volume ratios and assuming a plate model performed less well.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bone Density
  • Bone and Bones / anatomy & histology*
  • Bone and Bones / diagnostic imaging
  • Bone and Bones / ultrastructure
  • Computer Simulation
  • Durapatite
  • Femur Head / diagnostic imaging
  • Femur Head / pathology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Models, Biological
  • Osteoporosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteoporosis / pathology
  • Pattern Recognition, Automated
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Durapatite