Inter-individual variability of bone density and morphology distribution in the proximal femur and T12 vertebra

Javad Hazrati Marangalou, Keita Ito, Fulvia Taddei, Bert van Rietbergen (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Bone geometry, density and microstructure can vary widely between subjects. Knowledge about this variation in a population is of interest in particular for the design of orthopedic implants and interventions. The goal of this study is to investigate the local variability of bone density and microstructural parameters between subjects using a novel inter-subject image registration approach. Human proximal femora of 29 and T12 vertebrae of 20 individuals were scanned using a HR-pQCT and a micro-CT system, respectively. A pre-defined iso-anatomic mesh template was morphed to each micro-CT scan. For each element bone volume fraction and other morphological parameters (Tb.Th, Tb.N, Tb.Sp, SMI, DA) were determined and assigned to the element. A coefficient of variation (CV) was calculated for each parameter at each element location of the 29 femora and 20 T12 vertebrae. Contour plots of the CV distribution revealed very detailed information about the inter-individual variation in bone density and morphology. It is also shown that analyzing large sub-volumes, as commonly done in previous studies, would miss much of this variation. Detailed quantitative information of bone morphological parameters for each sample in the femur and the T12 database and their inter-individual variability are available from the mesh templates as supplementary data ( We expect that these results can help to optimize implants and orthopedic procedures by taking local bone morphological parameter variations into account.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-220
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Proximal femur
  • T12 vertebra
  • Inter-individual variability
  • Bone microstructure
  • Iso-anatomic mesh


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