The reliability of a semi-automated algorithm for detection of cortical interruptions in finger joints on high resolution CT compared to microCT

M. Peters, A. Scharmga, A. van Tubergen, J. Arts, D. Loeffen, R. Weijers, B. van Rietbergen, P.P.M.M. Geusens, J.P.W van den Bergh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
51 Downloads (Pure)


We developed a semi-automated algorithm for the detection of cortical interruptions in finger joints using high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT). Here, we tested its reliability compared to microCT (µCT) as gold standard. Nineteen joints of 10 female anatomic index fingers were imaged by HR-pQCT and µCT (82 and 18 µm isotropic voxel sizes, respectively). The algorithm was applied for detection of cortical interruptions of different minimum diameters (range >0.16 to >0.50 mm). Reliability was tested at the joint level with intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) for the number of interruptions and interruption surface, and at the level of a single interruption for matching between HR-pQCT and µCT with a fixed interruption diameter (>0.10 mm) on µCT. The positive predictive value (PPV0.10mm) and sensitivity0.10mm were evaluated. The mean number of interruptions per joint depended on the diameter cut-off and ranged from 3.4 to 53.5 on HR-pQCT and from 1.8 to 45.1 on µCT for interruptions >0.50 to >0.16 mm, respectively. Reliability at the joint level was almost perfect (ICC ≥0.81) for both the number and surface of interruptions >0.16 and >0.33 mm. As expected, the PPV0.10mm increased with increasing interruption diameter from 84.9 to 100%, for interruptions >0.16 and >0.50 mm, respectively. However, the sensitivity0.10mm decreased with increasing interruption diameter from 62.4 to 4.7%. This semi-automated algorithm for HR-pQCT in finger joints performed best for the detection of cortical interruptions with a minimum diameter of >0.16 or >0.33 mm, showing almost perfect reliability at the joint level and interruptions matched with those on µCT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132–140
Number of pages9
JournalCalcified Tissue International
Issue number2
Early online date28 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2017



  • Journal Article

Cite this