Effects of dose reduction on bone strength prediction using finite element analysis

Sci Rep. 2016 Dec 9;6:38441. doi: 10.1038/srep38441.


This study aimed to evaluate the effect of dose reduction, by means of tube exposure reduction, on bone strength prediction from finite-element (FE) analysis. Fresh thoracic mid-vertebrae specimens (n = 11) were imaged, using multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT), at different intensities of X-ray tube exposures (80, 150, 220 and 500 mAs). Bone mineral density (BMD) was estimated from the mid-slice of each specimen from MDCT images. Differences in image quality and geometry of each specimen were measured. FE analysis was performed on all specimens to predict fracture load. Paired t-tests were used to compare the results obtained, using the highest CT dose (500 mAs) as reference. Dose reduction had no significant impact on FE-predicted fracture loads, with significant correlations obtained with reference to 500 mAs, for 80 mAs (R2 = 0.997, p < 0.001), 150 mAs (R2 = 0.998, p < 0.001) and 220 mAs (R2 = 0.987, p < 0.001). There were no significant differences in volume quantification between the different doses examined. CT imaging radiation dose could be reduced substantially to 64% with no impact on strength estimates obtained from FE analysis. Reduced CT dose will enable early diagnosis and advanced monitoring of osteoporosis and associated fracture risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bone Density
  • Bone and Bones*
  • Female
  • Finite Element Analysis*
  • Fractures, Bone
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Male
  • Mechanical Phenomena*
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiographic Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed