Two Postprocessing CT Techniques for Determining the Composition of Trabecular Bone

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Two dual-energy CT techniques have been developed to analyze the mineral and fat content of trabecular bone. Both are postprocessing techniques that employ calibration standards. Experiments were performed to test these techniques against conventional single-energy techniques and two other dual-energy techniques. As expected, all of the dual-energy methods estimate the mineral content more accurately when fat is present. In contrast to the other dual-energy methods, the new methods described in this article are unique because they make a separate estimate of the fat content of the bone. The results of preliminary tests of these techniques in estimating fat content have been encouraging. Although not exact, the estimates show the correct trend in increasing proportionately as the fat content increases. Possible applications of the techniques in the study of osteoporosis and other bone diseases are described.

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