Evaluation of patient tissue selection methods for deriving equivalent density calibration for femoral bone quantitative CT analyses

C Winsor, X Li, M Qasim, C R Henak, P J Pickhardt, H Ploeg, Marco Viceconti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Osteoporosis affects an increasing number of people every year and patient specific finite element analysis of the femur has been proposed to identify patients that could benefit from preventative treatment. The aim of this study was to demonstrate, verify, and validate an objective process for selecting tissues for use as the basis of phantomless calibration to enable patient specific finite element analysis derived hip fracture risk prediction. Retrospective reanalysis of patient computed tomography (CT) scans has the potential to yield insights into more accurate prediction of osteoporotic fracture. Bone mineral density (BMD) specific calibration scans are not typically captured during routine clinical practice. Tissue-based BMD calibration can therefore empower the retrospective study of patient CT scans captured during routine clinical practice. Together the method for selecting tissues as the basis for phantomless calibration coupled with the post-processing steps for deriving a calibration equation using the selected tissues provide an estimation of quantitative equivalent density results derived using calibration phantoms. Patient tissues from a retrospective cohort of 211 patients were evaluated. The best phantomless calibration resulted in a femoral strength (FS) [N] bias of 0.069 ± 0.07% over FS derived from inline calibration and a BMD [kg/cm3] bias of 0.038 ± 0.037% over BMD derived from inline calibration. The phantomless calibration slope for the best method presented was within the range of patient specific calibration curves available for comparison and demonstrated a small bias of 0.028 ± 0.054 HU/(mg/cm3), assuming the Mindways Model 3 BMD inline calibration phantom as the gold standard. The presented method of estimating a calibration equation from tissues showed promise for CT-based femoral fracture analyses of retrospective cohorts without readily available calibration data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Early online dateNov 17 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Bone mineral density
  • Bone strength
  • Finite element analysis
  • Hip fractures
  • Internal tissue calibration
  • Osteoporosis
  • Phantomless calibration


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