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Cortical bone assessed with clinical computed tomography at the proximal femur.

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Johannesdottir, Fjola 
Poole, Kenneth ES 


Hip fractures are the most serious of all fragility fractures in older people of both sexes. Trips, stumbles, and falls result in fractures of the femoral neck or trochanter, and the incidence of these two common fractures is increasing worldwide as populations age. Although clinical risk factors and chance are important in causation, the ability of a femur to resist fracture also depends on the size and spatial distribution of the bone, its intrinsic material properties, and the loads applied. Over the past two decades, clinical quantitative computed tomography (QCT) studies of living volunteers have provided insight into how the femur changes with advancing age to leave older men and women at increased risk of hip fractures. In this review, we focus on patterns of cortical bone loss associated with hip fracture, age-related changes in cortical bone, and the effects of drugs used to treat osteoporosis. There are several methodologies available to measure cortical bone in vivo using QCT. Most techniques quantify bone density (g/cm(3)), mass (g), and thickness (mm) in selected, predefined or “traditional” regions of interest such as the “femoral neck” or “total hip” region. A recent alternative approach termed “computational anatomy,” uses parametric methods to identify systematic differences, before displaying statistically significant regions as color-scaled maps of density, mass, or thickness on or within a representative femur model. This review will highlight discoveries made using both traditional and computational anatomy methods, focusing on cortical bone of the proximal femur.



Femur, Humans, Tomography, X-Ray Computed

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J Bone Miner Res

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Oxford University Press (OUP)
Arthritis Research Uk (None)
This work was supported by Cambridge NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (Metabolism, Endocrinology, Bone and Biomaterials Theme), Arthritis Research UK (a Research Progression award to KESP). TDT is a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellow. The femurs shown in Fig. 2 are courtesy of the Melbourne Femur Collection, Chairman Professor John Clement (Melbourne Dental School).