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The Effect Of In Situ/in Vitro Three-dimensional Quantitative Computed Tomography Image Voxel Size On The Finite Element Model Of Human Vertebral Cancellous Bone

Yongtao Lu, K. Engelke, C. Glüer, M. Morlock, G. Huber
Published 2014 · Materials Science, Medicine

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Quantitative computed tomography–based finite element modeling technique is a promising clinical tool for the prediction of bone strength. However, quantitative computed tomography–based finite element models were created from image datasets with different image voxel sizes. The aim of this study was to investigate whether there is an influence of image voxel size on the finite element models. In all 12 thoracolumbar vertebrae were scanned prior to autopsy (in situ) using two different quantitative computed tomography scan protocols, which resulted in image datasets with two different voxel sizes (0.29 × 0.29 × 1.3 mm3 vs 0.18 × 0.18 × 0.6 mm3). Eight of them were scanned after autopsy (in vitro) and the datasets were reconstructed with two voxel sizes (0.32 × 0.32 × 0.6 mm3 vs. 0.18 × 0.18 × 0.3 mm3). Finite element models with cuboid volume of interest extracted from the vertebral cancellous part were created and inhomogeneous bilinear bone properties were defined. Axial compression was simulated. No effect of voxel size was detected on the apparent bone mineral density for both the in situ and in vitro cases. However, the apparent modulus and yield strength showed significant differences in the two voxel size group pairs (in situ and in vitro). In conclusion, the image voxel size may have to be considered when the finite element voxel modeling technique is used in clinical applications.
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