Least-detectable and age-related local in vivo bone remodelling assessed by time-lapse HR-pQCT

P. Christen, S. Boutroy, R. Ellouz, R. Chapurlat, B. van Rietbergen

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We previously developed an image analysis approach for the determination of local sites of bone remodelling using time-lapse in vivo HR-pQCT. The involved image filtering for removing noise was chosen rather aggressively, and also removed some effects of the bone remodelling. In this paper, we quantify these filtering settings using ex vivo reproducibility HR-pQCT images, and determine the least-detectable bone remodelling using in vivo reproducibility HR-pQCT images, as well as testing whether the approach is capable of capturing age-related bone remodelling by use of in vivo long-term HR-pQCT images. We found that a threshold value of 225 mg HA/cm3 for the filtering led to acceptable results with falsely determined bone remodelling of less than 0.5%, and that the least-detectable bone formation and bone resorption are 2.0 ± 1.0% and 2.2 ± 0.7% respectively. We also found that age-related local bone remodelling can be captured satisfactorily in postmenopausal women. The latter revealed new insights into the effect of ageing on bone remodelling, and showed that bone remodelling seems to take place through a few small formation packets and many large resorption volumes leading to a net bone loss. We conclude that local in vivo bone remodelling can be successfully assessed with time-lapse in vivo HR-pQCT capable of assessing age-related changes in bone remodelling.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0191369
Number of pages11
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


  • Journal Article


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