An indirect method of measuring widths suitable for automated bone histomorphometry

J Bone Miner Res. 1992 Dec;7(12):1417-27. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.5650071209.


Orthogonal intercepts from random test lines (OIr), uniformly distributed intercepts (OIu), and areas and lengths (Ar/Le) were measured manually and by computer to determine individual profile and sample widths of artificial profiles and human osteoid seams. Individual widths were equal by Ar/Le and OIu methods. The means of individual profile widths (all methods), of all orthogonal intercepts (OIu and OIr), or of profile widths weighted in proportion to their lengths (Ar/Le) were also equal. Ar/Le and OIu had smaller variance than OIr. Discrepant individual OIu and Ar/Le widths in digitized images were corrected by thresholding and did not significantly affect sample means. Unweighted Ar/Le sample means were 15-44% lower than weighted means. Distributions of osteoid seam widths were not normal, and all but one had more than one mode. We conclude that the Ar/Le method is comparable to direct orthogonal intercept methods and suitable for automated histomorphometry.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Bone Diseases / pathology*
  • Bone and Bones / anatomy & histology*
  • Bone and Bones / pathology
  • Humans
  • Hyperparathyroidism / pathology
  • Ilium / anatomy & histology
  • Ilium / pathology
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Osteomalacia / pathology
  • Osteoporosis / pathology
  • Regression Analysis
  • Staining and Labeling