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Influence of density, elasticity, and structure on ultrasound transmission through trabecular bone cylinders

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7 Author(s)
Francesco Cavani ; Dept. of Anatomy & Histology, Univ. of Modena & Reggio Emilia, Modena ; Gianluca Giavaresi ; Milena Fini ; Laura Bertoni
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The aim of this in vitro study is to evaluate the potentiality of quantitative ultrasound (QUS) to separate information on density, elasticity, and structure on specimens of trabecular bone. Fifteen cylinders of spongy bone extracted from equine vertebrae were progressively demineralized and subjected to QUS, micro computed tomography (muCT), Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) at various mineralization levels. Eventually all cylinders underwent a compression test to calculate the Young's modulus. Correlation analysis shows that speed of sound (SOS) is strictly associated to bone mineral density (BMD), Young's modulus, and all muCT parameters except for degree of anisotropy (DA). Fast wave amplitude (FWA) is directly correlated with bone surface and total volume ratio (BS/TV) and trabecular separation (Tb Sp), and inversely correlated with trabecular number (Tb N). Because muCT parameters were strictly correlated to BMD and Young's modulus data, partial correlation analysis was performed between SOS, FWA, and structural and elastic data in order to eliminate the effect of density. SOS was significantly correlated to bone volume and total volume ratio (BV/TV), BS/TV, and Young's modulus, and FWA was significantly correlated to Tb Sp only. These results show that SOS is strongly influenced by volumetric mineral bone density and elastic modulus of the specimen, and FWA is mainly affected by trabecular separation independently on density. Therefore, SOS and FWA are able to provide different and complementary information, at least on trabecular bone samples.

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IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control  (Volume:55 ,  Issue: 7 )