News | November 15, 2010

New Imaging Technology Predicts Fracture Risk

3-D thickness map

November 15, 2010 — A new method for identifying which bones have a high risk of fracture and for monitoring the effectiveness of new bone-strengthening drugs and techniques has been developed by scientists at the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, UK. The method, developed by Dr. Graham Treece of the Department of Engineering and Dr. Ken Poole of the Department of Medicine, uses computed tomography (CT) imaging to accurately measure the thickness of the cortical bone, the hard outer layer of compact bone which surrounds the spongy trabecular bone. The thickness of cortical bone is a key indicator of the risk of fracture, including in conditions such as osteoporosis.

When CT rays pass through thin, radiodense layers such as the cortical bone, the resulting images are slightly blurred. Understanding the mathematics of how this blurring occurs has allowed the researchers to develop an image analysis process that provides an accurate measurement of the cortical thickness at a particular point on the bone. Importantly, this method remains accurate in the clinically relevant sub-millimeter range and can be achieved using routine CT scans.

The cortical thickness measurement can be obtained for thousands of points on the surface of a bone, thus providing a thickness map. This, in turn, allows clinicians to identify bones that exhibit thinning of the cortical bone at the key points that are known to be associated with an increased risk of fracture. Successive mapping over time allows maps to be produced depicting changes in the cortical bone over time in all areas of the skeleton, so that the progress of osteoporosis treatments can be monitored.

The current technologies do not provide for this level of functionality. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) provides a measure of mineral levels across the whole bone, not a 3-D map, whereas multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT) does not achieve the sub-millimeter resolution provided by this novel approach.

“Osteoporosis is a condition which will become more and more common as the population ages,” said Dr. Andrew Walsh of Cambridge Enterprise, the University’s commercialization group. “This exciting innovation has the potential to improve the treatment of patients suffering from osteoporosis, as well as to support the development of new drugs. We are currently seeking commercial partners to help us achieve this benefit by bringing this technology to market.”

This work will be demonstrated at RSNA 2010.

For further information: www.enterprise.cam.ac.uk

Related Content

American College of Radiology Releases New Patient-Oriented Appropriateness Criteria Summaries
News | Patient Engagement | January 19, 2018
January 19, 2018 — New Appropriateness Criteria (AC) Patient Summaries from the American College of Radiology (ACR) c
National Clinical Decision Support Company (NDSC) has an exclusive deal with the American College of Radiology (ACR) to provide medical imaging appropriate use criteria (AUC).

National Clinical Decision Support Company (NDSC) has an exclusive deal with the American College of Radiology (ACR) to provide medical imaging appropriate use criteria (AUC). 

Feature | Clinical Decision Support | January 18, 2018
January 18, 2018 — Change Healthcare announced the acquisition of National Decision Support Company (NDSC), a leader
Hospital for Special Surgery Invests in Sectra Orthopedic 3-D Planning Software
News | Orthopedic Imaging | January 18, 2018
January 18, 2018 – International medical imaging IT and cybersecurity company Sectra announces that Hospital for Spec
Philips Introduces Technology Maximizer Program for Imaging Equipment Upgrades
Technology | Imaging | January 17, 2018
January 17, 2018 — Philips recently announced the launch of Technology Maximizer, a cross-modality program designed t
RSNA 2017 Celebrates Innovation in Radiology
News | Imaging | January 15, 2018
January 15, 2018 — The Radiological Society of North America’s...
Transpara Deep Learning Software Matches Experienced Radiologists in Mammogram Reading
News | Computer-Aided Detection Software | January 12, 2018
Deep learning and artificial intelligence improves the efficiency and accuracy of reading mammograms, according to...
Smartphone Addiction Creates Imbalance in Brain
News | Mobile Devices | January 11, 2018
Researchers have found an imbalance in the brain chemistry of young people addicted to smartphones and the internet,...
Fat Distribution in Women and Men Provides Clues to Heart Attack Risk
News | Women's Health | January 11, 2018
January 11, 2018 – It’s not the amount of fat in your body but where it is stored that may increase your risk for hea
Emergency Radiologists See Inner Toll of Opioid Use Disorders

Rates of Imaging Positivity for IV-SUDs Complications. Image courtesy of Efren J. Flores, M.D.

News | Clinical Study | January 11, 2018
January 11, 2018 – Emergency radiologists are seeing a high prevalence of patients with complications related to opio
Minimally Invasive Treatment Provides Relief from Back Pain

Lumbar spine MRI showing disc herniation and nerve root at baseline and one month after treatment

News | Interventional Radiology | January 11, 2018
The majority of patients were pain free after receiving a new image-guided pulsed radiofrequency treatment for low back...
Overlay Init