A preliminary dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry-based finite element model for assessing osteoporotic hip fracture risk
Luo, Y.; Ferdous, Z.; Leslie, W.D.
Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H Journal of Engineering in Medicine 225(12): 1188-1195
To more accurately assess osteoporotic hip fracture risk in a specific patient, a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA)-based finite element model was constructed from the patient's femur DXA image. The outermost contour of the femur bone segmented from the DXA image was used to generate a finite element mesh. Bone mechanical properties, such as Young's modulus, are correlated with areal bone mineral density (BMD) captured in the DXA image. A quasi-static loading condition representing a sideway fall was applied to the finite element model. Three fracture risk indices were introduced and expressed as ratios of internal forces caused by impact forces occurring in sideway fall to bone ultimate cross-section strength at the three critical locations, i.e. the femoral neck, the intertrochanteric region, and the subtrochanteric region. The proposed finite element modelling procedure was validated against six representative clinical cases extracted from the Manitoba BMD database, where initial and follow-up DXA images have been taken to monitor longitudinal variation of areal BMD in individual patients. It was found from the clinical validation that variations in the proposed fracture risk indices have the same trends as those indicated by the conventional areal BMD and T-score. In addition, by the three proposed fracture risk indices it is possible to further identify the specific fracture location. It was also found that for the same subject, the variations in the three fracture risk indices have quite different magnitudes, with intertrochanteric region the largest and subtrochanteric region the smallest, which is probably owing to the different content of trabecular and cortical bones in the three regions. With further development, it is promising that the proposed DXA-based finite element model will be a useful tool for accurate assessment of osteoporosis development and for treatment monitoring.