A Novel HR-pQCT image Registration Approach Reveals Sex-Specific Changes In Cortical Bone Retraction With Aging

Bert van Rietbergen (Corresponding author), Emmanuel Biver, Thierry Chevalley, Keita Ito, Roland Chapurlat, Serge Ferrari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


During aging, changes in endosteal and periosteal boundaries of cortical bone occur that differ between men and women. We here develop a new procedure that uses high-resolution peripheral quantitative CT (HR-pQCT) imaging and 3D registration to identify such changes within the timescale of longitudinal studies. A first goal was to test the sensitivity of the approach. A second goal was to assess differences in periosteal/endosteal expansion over time between men and women. Rigid 3D registration was used to transform baseline and all follow-up (FU) images to a common reference configuration for which the region consisting of complete slices (largest common height) was determined. Periosteal and endosteal contours were transformed to the reference position to determine the net periosteal and endosteal expansion distances. To test the sensitivity, images from a short-term reproducibility study were used (15 female, 21-47 years, scanned 3 times). To test differences between men and women, images from a subset of the Geneva Retirees Cohort were used (248 female, 61 male, average age 65 years, 3.5 and 7 years FU). The sensitivity study indicated a least significant change for detecting periosteal/endosteal expansion of 41/31 microns for the radius and 17/26 microns for the tibia. Results of the cohort study showed significant net endosteal retraction only in females at the radius and tibia after 3.5 years (38.0 and 38.4 microns, respectively) that further increased at 7 years FU (70.4 and 70.8 microns, respectively). No significant net periosteal changes were found for males or females at 7 years. The results demonstrate that it is possible to measure changes in endosteal contours in longitudinal studies within several years. For the investigated cohort, significant endosteal retraction was found in females but not in males. Whether these changes in cortical geometry are related to fracture risk remains to be investigated in larger cohorts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1351-1363
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number7
Early online date16 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2021 The Authors. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR).


  • BONE QCT/mu CT


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