The High Resolution Peripheral Quantitative Computed Tomography (HR-pQCT) Core Facility offers measurements of the microscopic internal structure of cortical and trabecular bone in the distal radius and tibia. Additionally, the HR-pQCT Core Facility offers Finite Element Analysis to estimate key biomechanical properties of the bone including failure load and stiffness.
By scanning the distal radius and tibia, the HR-pQCT Core can measure a variety of important parameters reflecting the integrity or cortical and trabecular bone. This information cannot be determined using standard clinical imaging techniques such as dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). A scanning appointment is a 30 minute addition to a clinical research visit and involves less radiation exposure than traditional bone densitometry. With applications for both cross-sectional and longitudinal research, investigators have employed our facilities and expertise to study a variety of bone-related diseases with participants ranging in age from children to the elderly.
The goal of the HR-pQCT Core is to provide facilities and personnel on a per study basis, allowing investigators access to important information about bone structure and function without requiring special expertise and equipment.
Getting Started: To begin organizing a cohort for HR-pQCT studies or to inquire further, please contact the Core Director, Dr. Joel Finkelstein.
Measurements are performed on an Xtreme CT scanner (SCANCO Medical AG, (Basserdorf, Switzerland). The scanner was purchased using funds provided by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator, Joel S. Finkelstein, M.D.)
The HR-pQCT Core Facility can generate high-quality black-and-white images illustrating static bone microscopic structure and color images depicting dynamic properties of the skeletal response to stimulated loading.
ECA provides more detailed measures of cortical bone, including quantification of its porosity and thickness.
FEA uses mathematical modeling to assess the effects of a simulated mechanical load on bone to estimate its stiffness, failure load, and other biomechanical properties.
Normative data (mean values and standard deviations) for SA, ECA, and FEA as well as for DXA (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) for healthy 20 to 30 year old men and women are available to provide reference values and for comparisons with values from specific protocol cohorts. Short-term reproducibility data are also available.
Cumulative reports including all measurements for a specific research protocol are provided every 6 months. Additional reports can be requested when needed to respond to deadlines for grant submissions or publications.
Each scan is initially analyzed by a Core Facility technician and then reviewed by a senior member of the Core Facility staff.
SA includes measurements of densities and micro-architectural parameters for cortical and trabecular bone compartments of the distal radius and tibia.