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Diagnostic value of micro-CT in comparison with histology in the qualitative assessment of historical human postcranial bone pathologies


Kuhn, G; Schultz, M; Müller, R; Rühli, Frank J (2007). Diagnostic value of micro-CT in comparison with histology in the qualitative assessment of historical human postcranial bone pathologies. HOMO : Journal of Comparative Human Biology, 58(2):97-115.

Abstract

Micro-computed tomography (muCT) is of great interest for palaeopathological examination because it is less invasive than histology. This study evaluates the diagnostic value of muCT for postcranial macerated bones. We investigated five specimens (osteomyelitis, tuberculosis, trauma, osteosarcoma and hypertrophic osteoarthropathy) of a pathology reference series by muCT and polarised light microscopy. The 3D muCT images allow an easy orientation within the specimen. Surface structures, thickness, continuity of the cortex and number, thickness and orientation of the trabeculae can be evaluated. The high number of muCT slices helps to choose the most interesting areas for further investigations. Grey value images display the degree of mineralisation. Yet, the differentiation between woven and lamellar bone is only possible using polarised light microscopy. muCT is a tool of high value for the examination of postcranial bone disorders. It cannot replace histological examinations completely because it cannot assess the bone quality (woven or lamellar). For the choice of the optimal location where slices for the microscopic investigation are later cut in heterogeneous samples, muCT is very useful. Therefore, we suggest performing the muCT examination first, followed by histology if necessary.

Abstract

Micro-computed tomography (muCT) is of great interest for palaeopathological examination because it is less invasive than histology. This study evaluates the diagnostic value of muCT for postcranial macerated bones. We investigated five specimens (osteomyelitis, tuberculosis, trauma, osteosarcoma and hypertrophic osteoarthropathy) of a pathology reference series by muCT and polarised light microscopy. The 3D muCT images allow an easy orientation within the specimen. Surface structures, thickness, continuity of the cortex and number, thickness and orientation of the trabeculae can be evaluated. The high number of muCT slices helps to choose the most interesting areas for further investigations. Grey value images display the degree of mineralisation. Yet, the differentiation between woven and lamellar bone is only possible using polarised light microscopy. muCT is a tool of high value for the examination of postcranial bone disorders. It cannot replace histological examinations completely because it cannot assess the bone quality (woven or lamellar). For the choice of the optimal location where slices for the microscopic investigation are later cut in heterogeneous samples, muCT is very useful. Therefore, we suggest performing the muCT examination first, followed by histology if necessary.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Anatomy
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:23 April 2007
Deposited On:24 Mar 2010 15:13
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 00:26
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0018-442X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jchb.2006.11.002
PubMed ID:17451711

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