A new microcomputed tomography (micro-CT) system and thresholding procedure was evaluated as a tool for nondestructive analysis of trabecular bone. Images of 6-mm trabecular bone cubes acquired from the micro-CT system were compared with optical images of corresponding histologic sections to determine the accuracy of representation. The stereologic measures of bone volume fraction (PP) and trabecular plate densty (PL) were used to quantify the comparisons. The results showed that the micro-CT measures of PP were not significantly different from those measured from histologic sections and therefore were very accurate. Measures of PL were different by approximately 14%, which translated into discrepancies in trabecular plate thicknesses of about 19 μm. This difference was significantly correlated to the microstructural characteristics of the specific specimen scanned. The precision of both measurements was excellent.
Keywords: Trabecular bone; Morphology; Architecture; Digital imaging