Comparison between microcomputed tomography and cone-beam computed tomography radiologic bone to assess atrophic posterior maxilla density and microarchitecture

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The aim of this study was to analyze the relationship between bone density obtained by cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) and morphometric parameters of bone analyzed by microcomputed tomography (μ-CT).

Material and methods:

An overall of 32 subjects ≤8 mm of bone height were included in the study. One site per patient was randomly selected to obtain bone core. Totally, 27 biopsies were available for μ-CT analysis. In addition, CBCT was taken after positioning a previously fabricated acrylic resin template with a 2-mm-diameter metal rod at the randomly selected implant site to study radiographic bone density (RBD). The relationship between μ-CT and CBCT quantitative variable and RBD was analyzed using Spearman correlation.


Positive correlations between BV/TV (r = 0.769, P < 0.001), BS/TV (r = 0.563, P = 0.002), Tb.Th (r = 0.491, P = 0.009), Tb.N (r = 0.518, P = 0.005) and vBMD (r = 0.699, P < 0.001) with RBD were identified. On the contrary, BS/BV (r = −0.509, P = 0.006), Tb.Sp (r = −0.539, P = 0.003) and Tb.Pf (r = −0.636, P < 0.001) were negatively correlated with RBD. Moreover, SMI (r = −0.380, P = 0.050) and DA (−0.245, P = 0.217) were negatively correlated but not statistically significant.


This study demonstrated the correlation between radiographic bone density (RBD) and bone density assessed by μ-CT. Therefore, our data supported the use of CBCT as pre-operative tool for implant treatment planning because it is shown to be reliable to assess atrophic posterior maxilla density and microarchitecture.

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