The relationship of whole human vertebral body creep to bone density and texture via clinically available imaging modalities.

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Journal of biomechanics


Creep deformation of human vertebrae accumulates under physiological levels of load and is understood to contribute to the progression toward clinically observable vertebral fracture. However, little information is available in terms of clinically measurable predictors of creep behavior in human vertebrae. In this study, creep tests were performed on 22 human cadaveric T12 vertebrae (13 male, 9 female; age 41-90). Areal and volumetric bone density parameters were measured from the same specimens using dual x-ray absorptiometry and high resolution computed tomography. Image textural analyses (which probe the organization of image intensities within the cancellous bone in low resolution clinical imaging) were performed using digital tomosynthesis (DTS) images. Multiple regression models were constructed to examine the relationship between creep properties and bone density and DTS image textural parameters. For the standard clinical imaging configuration, models including DTS derived image textural parameters alone were generally more explanatory (adjusted R(2): 0.14-0.68) than those with bone density parameters forced in the models (adjusted R(2): 0.17-0.61). Metrics of textural heterogeneity and anisotropy presented as the most explanatory imaging markers for creep deformation and recovery from creep. These metrics of image texture may help provide, independent from bone mass, important clinically measurable indicators of the time dependent deformation of human vertebrae.

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Adult; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Bone Density; Cancellous Bone; Female; Humans; Lumbar Vertebrae; Male; Middle Aged; Spinal Fractures; Thoracic Vertebrae; Vertebral Body

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