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Assessment of trabecular bone structure using MDCT: comparison of 64- and 320-slice CT using HR-pQCT as the reference standard



The aim of our study was to perform trabecular bone structure analysis with images from 64- and 320-slice multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) and to compare these with high-resolution peripheral computed tomography (HR-pQCT).

Materials and methods

Twenty human cadaver distal forearm specimens were imaged on a 64- and 320-slice MDCT system at 120 kVp, 200 mA and 135 kVp, 400 mA (in-plane pixel size 234 microm; slice thickness 500 microm). HR-pQCT imaging was performed at an isotropic voxel size of 41 microm. Bone volume fraction (BV/TV), trabecular number (Tb.N), thickness (Tb.Th) and separation (Tb.Sp) were computed.


MDCT-derived BV/TV and Tb.Sp were highly correlated (r = 0.92-0.96, p < 0.0001) with the corresponding HR-pQCT parameters. Tb.Th was the only structure measure that did not yield any significant correlation.


The 64- and 320-slice MDCT systems both perform equally well in depicting trabecular bone architecture. However, because of constrained resolutions accurate derivation of trabecular bone measures is limited to only a subset of microarchitectural parameters.

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