Osteoporosis is characterized by bone loss and degradation of bone microstructure leading to fracture particularly in elderly people. Osteoporotic bone degeneration and fracture risk can be assessed by bone mineral density and trabecular bone score from 2D projection dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry images. However, multidetector computed tomography image based quantification of trabecular bone microstructure showed significant improvement in prediction of fracture risk beyond that from bone mineral density and trabecular bone score; however, high radiation exposure limits its use in routine clinical in vivo examinations. Hence, this study investigated reduction of radiation dose and its effects on image quality of thoracic midvertebral specimens. Twenty-four texture features were extracted to quantify the image quality from multidetector computed tomography images of 11 thoracic midvertebral specimens, by means of statistical moments, the gray-level co-occurrence matrix, and the gray-level run-length matrix, and were analyzed by an independent sample t-test to observe differences in image texture with respect to radiation doses of 80, 150, 220, and 500 mAs. The results showed that three features-namely, global variance, energy, and run percentage, were not statistically significant ([Formula: see text]) for low doses with respect to 500 mAs. Hence, it is evident that these three dose-independent features can be used for disease monitoring with a low-dose imaging protocol.
Keywords: Osteoporosis; Radiation dose; Texture analysis; Trabecular bone microstructure; Vertebra.