Multiscale Femoral Neck Imaging and Multimodal Trabeculae Quality Characterization in an Osteoporotic Bone Sample


  • Soldati Enrico
  • Roseren Flavy
  • Guenoun Daphne
  • Mancini Lucia
  • Catelli Emilio
  • Prati Silvia
  • Sciutto Giorgia
  • Vicente Jerome
  • Iotti Stefano
  • Bendahan David
  • Malucelli Emil
  • Pithioux Martine


  • Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy FTIR
  • Microindentation
  • Magnetic resonance imaging MRI
  • Osteocytes lacunae
  • Osteoporosis
  • X-ray computed microtomography µCT

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Although multiple structural, mechanical, and molecular factors are definitely involved in osteoporosis, the assessment of subregional bone mineral density remains the most commonly used diagnostic index. In this study, we characterized bone quality in the femoral neck of one osteoporotic patients as compared to an age-matched control subject, and so used a multiscale and multimodal approach including X-ray computed microtomography at different spatial resolutions (pixel size: 51.0, 4.95 and 0.9 µm), microindentation and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Our results showed abnormalities in the osteocytes lacunae volume (358.08 ± 165.00 for the osteoporotic sample vs. 287.10 ± 160.00 for the control), whereas a statistical difference was found neither for shape nor for density. The osteoporotic femoral head and great trochanter reported reduced elastic modulus (Es) and hardness (H) compared to the control reference (−48% (p < 0.0001) and −34% (p < 0.0001), respectively for Es and H in the femoral head and −29% (p < 0.01) and −22% (p < 0.05), respectively for Es and H in the great trochanter), whereas the corresponding values in the femoral neck were in the same range. The spectral analysis could distinguish neither subregional differences in the osteoporotic sample nor between the osteoporotic and healthy samples. Although, infrared spectroscopic measurements were comparable among subregions, and so regardless of the bone osteoporotic status, the trabecular mechanical properties were comparable only in the femoral neck. These results illustrate that bone remodeling in osteoporosis is a non-uniform process with different rates in different bone anatomical regions, hence showing the interest of a clear analysis of the bone microarchitecture in the case of patients’ osteoporotic evaluation.

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