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Journal of Osteoporosis
Volume 2010, Article ID 641578, 6 pages
Research Article

Model-Independent 3D Descriptors of Vertebral Cancellous Bone Architecture

Bone and Joint Research Laboratory, SA Pathology and Hanson Institute, Discipline of Pathology, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia

Received 26 May 2009; Revised 7 September 2009; Accepted 13 October 2009

Academic Editor: Harri Sievänen

Copyright © 2010 Ian H. Parkinson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


High-resolution micro computed tomography has enabled measurement of bone architecture derived from 3D representations of cancellous bone. Twenty-eight vertebral bodies were obtained from four embalmed male cadavers. From 3D anaglyphs, trabecular rod thickness and length were measured and the trabecular rod Buckling index was calculated. From 3D voxel-based datasets, bone volume density, trabecular thickness, and trabecular separation were measured. Also, trabecular bone pattern factor, structural model index, connectivity density, and degree of anisotropy were calculated. Bone volume density alone explains 59% of the variability in trabecular rod Buckling index. The addition of connectivity density, trabecular separation, and structural model index, in a multiple regression statistical model, improves the explanatory power to 77%. The relationships between measures of cancellous bone architecture and a derived measure of trabecular rod strength were investigated. Morphological descriptors of cancellous bone provide a composite explanatory model of trabecular rod strength.