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Clin Shoulder Elbow > Volume 18(2); 2015 > Article
Clinics in Shoulder and Elbow 2015;18(2):86-90.
DOI:    Published online June 30, 2015.
Evaluation of Focal Bone Mineral Density Using Three-dimensional Measurement of Hounsfield Units in the Proximal Humerus
Young Lae Moon, Sung Jung, Sang Ha Park, Gwi Youn Choi
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Chosun University Hospital, Gwangju, Korea.
Received: 28 October 2014   • Revised: 29 December 2014   • Accepted: 25 February 2015
BACKGROUND: Although there are several methods for evaluating bone quality, Hounsfield units (HU), a standardized computed tomography (CT) attenuation coefficient, provide a useful tool for estimating focal bone mineral density (BMD). The aim of this study is to investigate the HU for evaluating the degree of osteoporosis in greater tuberosity with regard to anchor positioning.
Forty patients diagnosed as normal on shoulder CT were included and categorized according to age and gender. Axially sectioned CT images were processed to 3-dimensional models containing information about bone quality using Mimics (14.11 platform v14.1.1.1 Materialise). Three-dimensional anchors were simulated and positioned according to 6 regions of interest (ROI) in the greater tuberosity classified using Tingart's system. Mean HU of intra-anchor volumes in the 6 regions was measured.
A significant decrease in HU was observed with increasing age (p=0.0001) and menopause (p<0.001). A significant difference in HU was found between male and female groups with males showing the higher values (p=0.0001). HU of proximal areas of ROI was higher than those of distal areas (p<0.005). However, although mean HU of distal posterior ROI showed the lowest values, no statistically significant difference was found between anterior, middle, and posterior regions (p=0.087).
Mean HU of ROIs provides a tool for preoperative assessment of focal BMD, which is a factor of suture anchor stability and can be used to aid decision-making regarding secure anchor positioning for rotator cuff repair. Our data support that the most secure point is the proximal regions of ROI.
Key Words: Shoulder; Hounsfield units; Three-dimensional; Bone density; Anchor stability
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