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29 March 2013 Peripheral quantitative CT (pQCT) using a dedicated extremity cone-beam CT scanner
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Purpose: We describe the initial assessment of the peripheral quantitative CT (pQCT) imaging capabilities of a conebeam CT (CBCT) scanner dedicated to musculoskeletal extremity imaging. The aim is to accurately measure and quantify bone and joint morphology using information automatically acquired with each CBCT scan, thereby reducing the need for a separate pQCT exam. Methods: A prototype CBCT scanner providing isotropic, sub-millimeter spatial resolution and soft-tissue contrast resolution comparable or superior to standard multi-detector CT (MDCT) has been developed for extremity imaging, including the capability for weight-bearing exams and multi-mode (radiography, fluoroscopy, and volumetric) imaging. Assessment of pQCT performance included measurement of bone mineral density (BMD), morphometric parameters of subchondral bone architecture, and joint space analysis. Measurements employed phantoms, cadavers, and patients from an ongoing pilot study imaged with the CBCT prototype (at various acquisition, calibration, and reconstruction techniques) in comparison to MDCT (using pQCT protocols for analysis of BMD) and micro-CT (for analysis of subchondral morphometry). Results: The CBCT extremity scanner yielded BMD measurement within ±2-3% error in both phantom studies and cadaver extremity specimens. Subchondral bone architecture (bone volume fraction, trabecular thickness, degree of anisotropy, and structure model index) exhibited good correlation with gold standard micro-CT (error ~5%), surpassing the conventional limitations of spatial resolution in clinical MDCT scanners. Joint space analysis demonstrated the potential for sensitive 3D joint space mapping beyond that of qualitative radiographic scores in application to non-weight-bearing versus weight-bearing lower extremities and assessment of phalangeal joint space integrity in the upper extremities. Conclusion: The CBCT extremity scanner demonstrated promising initial results in accurate pQCT analysis from images acquired with each CBCT scan. Future studies will include improved x-ray scatter correction and image reconstruction techniques to further improve accuracy and to correlate pQCT metrics with known pathology.
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A. A. Muhit, S. Arora, M. Ogawa, Y. Ding, W. Zbijewski, J. W. Stayman, G. Thawait, N. Packard, R. Senn, D. Yang, J. Yorkston, C. O. Bingham III, K. Means, J. A. Carrino, and J. H. Siewerdsen "Peripheral quantitative CT (pQCT) using a dedicated extremity cone-beam CT scanner", Proc. SPIE 8672, Medical Imaging 2013: Biomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging, 867203 (29 March 2013);

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