The velocity of ultrasonic guided waves in long bones is dependent upon two determinants of bone strength: the cortical thickness and the material properties. In this study, six human proximal tibiae in vitro were examined to test the efficacy of an ultrasonic method based on guided waves. Peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) was used as the comparative reference modality. The guided wave velocity (c(F)) was derived from two-dimensional (2-D) spatial-temporal waveform profiles formed by multiple ultrasonic signals acquired along the bones at 100 kHz frequency and passed wavelet processing. The ultrasonic profiles from the examined bones were ranged according to pQCT measurements of cortical thickness (CTh), and cortical bone mineral density (CBMD). Strong correlations between c(F) and CTh (r(S) = 0.83, p < 0.0001) and CBMD (r(S) = 0.88, p < 0.0001) resulted. The study confirmed a potential for guided waves to assess atrophic changes of the proximal tibia.
Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Inc.