Novel assessment of subregional bone mineral density using DXA and pQCT and subregional microarchitecture using micro-CT in whole human vertebrae: applications, methods, and correspondence between technologies

Andrew Briggs, Egon Perilli, Ian Parkinson, T Wrigley, Nicola Fazzalari, Sue Kantor, John Wark

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

    21 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    In the clinical environment dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is the current tool of first choice for assessing and monitoring skeletal integrity. A major drawback of standard DXA is that the bone mineral density (BMD) data cannot be used with certainty to predict who will sustain a vertebral fracture. However, measurement of BMD within vertebral subregions, instead of relying on a gross estimate of vertebral BMD, may improve diagnostic sensitivity. The aim of this article was to describe a validation study for subregional BMD measurement using lateral-projection DXA and to present preliminary data. Concurrent validity of measuring subregional BMD with DXA was established against measures of volumetric subregional BMD from peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) and subregional bone volume fraction from μCT at the L2 vertebral body in 8 cadaver spine specimens. The novel approaches for measuring subregional parameters with each imaging modality are described. Significant differences in bone parameters between vertebral subregions were observed for each imaging modality (p < 0.05). Correspondence ranged from R2 = 0.01-0.79 and R2 = 0.06-0.80 between "DXA vs. pQCT" and "DXA vs. micro-CT," respectively. For both imaging modalities, correspondence with DXA was high for centrally and anteriorly positioned subregions. These data provide a basis for larger studies to examine the biological significance of heterogeneity in vertebral BMD.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)161-174
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Clinical Densitometry
    Volume13
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010

    Keywords

    • Densitometry
    • DXA
    • micro-CT
    • osteoporosis
    • pQCT
    • subregion
    • vertebra

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