Long term in vitro precision of single slice peripheral Quantitative Computed Tomography (pQCT): Multicenter comparison

G. Guglielmi, M. Cammisa, A. De Serio, G. M. Giannatempo, B. Bagni, G. Orlandi, C. R. Russo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In a multicenter evaluation the precision and stability of single slice peripheral Quantitative Computed Tomography (pQCT) systems were assessed. Compared to central Europe the peripheral QCT device is also widely used in the Italian health care system. Phantoms were measured frequently on each machine in four pQCT scanners over a two-year period using an identical automated software program. Intrasite and intersite phantom mineral densities, expressed in units of mg/cm3, were analyzed and examined. The short and long term precision were estimated from the consistency of these measurements using the root mean square error and expressed as coefficient of variation in percent (% CV). Short term precision was good (mean intrasite coefficient of variation (CV) 0.21 ± 0.056 standard deviation (SD)). Intersite measurements of a single phantom revealed differences between machines of the same type of not more than 2.9 mg/cm3. At four sites frequent phantom measurements revealed a mean CV of 0.18% (range 0.12-0.28). No significant changes in the regression slopes (drift of the machine versus time) were observed. We conclude that the in vitro precision and stability of the single slice pQCT systems are sufficiently high and unlikely to negatively affect the in vivo precision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-381
Number of pages7
JournalTechnology and Health Care
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1997


  • Bone densitometry
  • Peripheral quantitative computed tomography
  • Quality assurance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics

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