High Resolution Peripheral Quantitative Computed Tomography

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 of 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.

Institutions:

            Massachusetts General Hospital

 

Personnel/Contact Information:

Director: Bouxsein, Mary, Ph.D.
Role: Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery
Phone: 617-726-3967
Email: mbouxsei@bidmc.harvard.edu

Member: Fitzgerald, Deborah
Role: Managing Coordinator
Phone: 617-726-6723
Email: dafitzgerald@partners.org

Facilities and Equipment:

Facility:

The HR-pQCT Core Facility is housed within the MGH Bone Density Center at 10 Emerson Place, Suite 1, Boston, MA  02114.

Equipment:

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.)

Services:


  • Standard Analysis (SA):  SA includes measurements of densities and micro-architectural parameters for cortical and trabecular bone compartments of the distal radius and tibia.
  • Extended Cortical Analysis (ECA):  ECA provides more detailed measures of cortical bone, including quantification of its porosity and thickness.
  • Finite Element Analysis (FEA):  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.
  • Radius DXA Simulation: The radius DXA simulation software uses volumetric bone mineral density to calculate areal bone mineral density as would be found at the ultradistal site in a DXA forearm scan -- sparing the cost of a DXA scan at that site and additional radiation exposure for the subject.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 3D Imaging:  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.


Getting Started:

To begin organizing a cohort for HR-pQCT studies or to inquire further, please contact the Core Director, Dr. Mary Bouxsein (mbouxsei@bidmc.harvard.edu, 617-726-3967). 
Email: 

Revised on 2018-01-22 17:40:35 UTC