14 April 2005 Study of trabecular bone microstructure using spatial autocorrelation analysis
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The spatial autocorrelation analysis method represents a powerful, new approach to quantitative characterization of structurally quasi-periodic anisotropic materials such as trabecular bone (TB). The method is applicable to grayscale images and thus does not require any preprocessing, such as segmentation which is difficult to achieve in the limited resolution regime of in vivo imaging. The 3D autocorrelation function (ACF) can be efficiently calculated using the Fourier transform. The resulting trabecular thickness and spacing measurements are robust to the presence of noise and produce values within the expected range as determined by other methods from μCT and μMRI datasets. TB features found from the ACF are shown to correlate well with those determined by the Fuzzy Distance transform (FDT) in the transverse plane, i.e. the plane orthogonal to bone’s major axis. The method is further shown to be applicable to in-vivo μMRI data. Using the ACF, we examine data acquired in a previous study aimed at evaluating the structural implications of male hypogonadism characterized by testosterone deficiency and reduced bone mass. Specifically, we consider the hypothesis that eugonadal and hypogonadal men differ in the anisotropy of their trabecular networks. The analysis indicates a significant difference in trabecular bone thickness and longitudinal spacing between the control group and the testosterone deficient group. We conclude that spatial autocorrelation analysis is able to characterize the 3D structure and anisotropy of trabecular bone and provides new insight into the structural changes associated with osteoporotic trabecular bone loss.
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Michael J. Wald, Michael J. Wald, Branimir Vasilic, Branimir Vasilic, Punam Kumar Saha, Punam Kumar Saha, Felix W. Wehrli, Felix W. Wehrli, "Study of trabecular bone microstructure using spatial autocorrelation analysis", Proc. SPIE 5746, Medical Imaging 2005: Physiology, Function, and Structure from Medical Images, (14 April 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.596133; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.596133

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