Human vertebral cancellous bone surface distribution

D. P. Fyhrie, S. M. Lang, S. J. Hoshaw, M. B. Schaffler, R. F. Kuo

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35 Citations (Scopus)


The three-dimensional distribution of bone surface and the bone volume fraction (BV/TV) of 110 human vertebral cancellous bone specimens from seven individuals were measured using a three-dimensional radiographic method (microcomputed tomography). The ratios of the three principal projections of bone surface per total volume were found to be relatively constant for specimens examined in this study. The constancy of the projected surface ratios means that the fraction of the total bone surface oriented in any direction does not change markedly with BV/TV. Bone volume fraction was a good predictor of bone surface per total volume (BS/TV) for a one-parameter nonlinear model (r2 = 0.92). The results of this pilot study suggest that the changes in surface distribution which occur during age-related bone loss are largely predetermined rather than adaptive. The results are also consistent with the idea that cancellous bone tends to maintain a constant ratio of trabecular number for the principal directions. If these inferences from the data are correct, the morphogenetic processes which create the initial adult trabecular pattern become of primary interest. A model was developed which explained the strong relationship between BS/TV and BV/TV. The model was used to demonstrate the importance of morphogenetic processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-291
Number of pages5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1995 Sept

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Histology


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