Finite element analysis and CT-based structural rigidity analysis to assess failure load in bones with simulated lytic defects

L. Anez-Bustillos, L.C. Derikx, Nicolaas Jacobus Joseph Verdonschot, N. Calderon, D. Zurakowski, B.D. Snyder, A. Nazarian, E. Tanck

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46 Citations (Scopus)
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There is an urgent need to improve the prediction of fracture risk for cancer patients with bone metastases. Pathological fractures that result from these tumors frequently occur in the femur. It is extremely difficult to determine the fracture risk even for experienced physicians. Although evolving, fracture risk assessment is still based on inaccurate predictors estimated from previous retrospective studies. As a result, many patients are surgically over-treated, whereas other patients may fracture their bones against expectations. We mechanically tested ten pairs of human cadaveric femurs to failure, where one of each pair had an artificial defect simulating typical metastatic lesions. Prior to testing, finite element (FE) models were generated and computed tomography rigidity analysis (CTRA) was performed to obtain axial and bending rigidity measurements. We compared the two techniques on their capacity to assess femoral failure load by using linear regression techniques, Student's t-tests, the Bland–Altman methodology and Kendall rank correlation coefficients. The simulated FE failure loads and CTRA predictions showed good correlation with values obtained from the experimental mechanical testing. Kendall rank correlation coefficients between the FE rankings and the CTRA rankings showed moderate to good correlations. No significant differences in prediction accuracy were found between the two methods. Non-invasive fracture risk assessment techniques currently developed both correlated well with actual failure loads in mechanical testing suggesting that both methods could be further developed into a tool that can be used in clinical practice. The results in this study showed slight differences between the methods, yet validation in prospective patient studies should confirm these preliminary findings
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-167
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • IR-90971
  • METIS-301798


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