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Effect Of CT Imaging On The Accuracy Of The Finite Element Modelling In Bone

Emir Benca, Morteza Amini, Dieter H. Pahr

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Abstract The finite element (FE) analysis is a highly promising tool to simulate the behaviour of bone. Skeletal FE models in clinical routine rely on the information about the geometry and bone mineral density distribution from quantitative computed tomography (CT) imaging systems. Several parameters in CT imaging have been reported to affect the accuracy of FE models. FE models of bone are exclusively developed in vitro under scanning conditions deviating from the clinical setting, resulting in variability of FE results (< 10%). Slice thickness and field of view had little effect on FE predicted bone behaviour (≤ 4%), while the reconstruction kernels showed to have a larger effect (≤ 20%). Due to large interscanner variations (≤ 20%), the translation from an experimental model into clinical reality is a critical step. Those variations are assumed to be mostly caused by different “black box” reconstruction kernels and the varying frequency of higher density voxels, representing cortical bone. Considering the low number of studies together with the significant effect of CT imaging on the finite element model outcome leading to high variability in the predicted behaviour, we propose further systematic research and validation studies, ideally preceding multicentre and longitudinal studies.