Introduction: Adequate bone quality is essential for long term biologic fixation of cementless total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Recently, vertebral bone quality evaluation using dual-energy computed tomography (DECT) has been introduced. However, the DECT bone mineral density (BMD) in peripheral skeleton has not been correlated with Hounsfield units (HU) or central dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), and the accuracy remains unclear. Materials and methods: Medical records of 117 patients who underwent TKA were reviewed. DXA was completed within three months before surgery. DECT was performed with third-generation dual source CT in dual-energy mode. Correlations between DXA, DECT BMD and HU for central and periarticular regions were analyzed. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were plotted and area under the curve (AUC), optimal threshold, and sensitivity and specificity of each region of interest (ROI) were calculated. Results: Central DXA BMD was correlated with DECT BMD and HU in ROIs both centrally and around the knee (all p < 0.01). The diagnostic accuracy of DECT BMD was higher than that of DECT HU and was also higher when the T-score for second lumbar vertebra (L2), rather than for the femur neck, was used as the reference standard (all AUC values: L2 > femur neck; DECT BMD > DECT HU, respectively). Using the DXA T-score at L2 as the reference standard, the optimal DECT BMD cut-off values for osteoporosis were 89.2 mg/cm3 in the distal femur and 78.3 mg/cm3 in the proximal tibia. Conclusion: Opportunistic volumetric BMD assessment using DECT is accurate and relatively simple, and does not require extra equipment. DECT BMD and HU are useful for osteoporosis screening before cementless TKA.
Keywords: Hounsfield unit; bone mineral density; dual-energy CT; opportunistic CT; volumetric phantomless BMD.