Bone histomorphometry revisited

Acta Reumatol Port. 2012 Oct-Dec;37(4):294-300.


Bone histomorphometry is defined as a quantitative evaluation of bone micro architecture, remodelling and metabolism. Bone metabolic assessment is based on a dynamic process, which provides data on bone matrix formation rate by incorporating a tetracycline compound. In the static evaluation, samples are stained and a semi-automatic technique is applied in order to obtain bone microarchitectural parameters such as trabecular area, perimeter and width. These parameters are in 2D, but they can be extrapolated into 3D, applying a stereological formula. Histomorphometry can be applied to different areas; however, in recent decades it has been a relevant tool in monitoring the effect of drug administration in bone. The main challenge for the future will be the development of noninvasive methods that can give similar information. In the herein review paper we will discuss the general principles and main applications of bone histomorphometry.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy / instrumentation
  • Biopsy / methods
  • Bone and Bones / pathology*
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans