Validation of wall thickness estimates obtained with polarized light microscopy using multiple fluorochrome labels: correlation with erosion depth estimates obtained by lamellar counting

Bone. 1995 Mar;16(3):381-3. doi: 10.1016/8756-3282(94)00053-0.


Numerous methods are currently being employed to estimate completed wall thickness and final erosion depth. Conflicting estimates of calculated bone balance have been obtained from the estimates of wall thickness and erosion depth using these various methods. To assess the utility of two specific methods to estimate wall thickness (polarized microscopy) and erosion depth (lamellar counts), we conducted a study in normal young adult beagle dogs, a model where bone balance should approximate 0. Dogs were administered multiple fluorochrome labels in vivo to label activity forming bone pockets. These labels were used to confirm the position of the cement line of the bone structural unit (BSU) in fluorescent light. Parallel measurements of wall thickness were then collected in polarized light. These estimates were compared to estimates of erosion depth obtained by lamellar counting and bone balance was calculated. Estimates of wall thickness correlated well with estimates of erosion depth with bone balance not differing significantly from 0. These data suggest that the combination of these two methods is a reasonable approach to obtaining estimates of bone balance at the level of the remodeling unit.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Remodeling / physiology*
  • Bone and Bones / pathology*
  • Dogs
  • Fluorescent Dyes / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Polarization
  • Osteoblasts / cytology*
  • Osteoblasts / pathology
  • Random Allocation


  • Fluorescent Dyes