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Müller-Gerbl, Magdalena and Putz, Reinhard and Hodapp, Norbert and Schulte, Erik and Wimmer, Berthold (1989): Computed tomography-osteoabsorptiometry for assessing the density distribution of subchondral bone as a measure of long-term mechanical adaptation in individual joints. In: Skeletal Radiology, Vol. 18, No. 7: pp. 507-512




To estimate subchondral mineralisation patterns which represent the long-term loading history of individual joints, a method has been developed employing computed tomography (CT) which permits repeated examination of living joints. The method was tested on 5 knee, 3 sacroiliac, 3 ankle and 5 shoulder joints and then investigated with X-ray densitometry. A CT absorptiometric presentation and maps of the area distribution of the subchondral bone density areas were derived using an image analyser. Comparison of the results from both X-ray densitometry and CT-absorptiometry revealed almost identical pictures of distribution of the subchondral bone density. The method may be used to examine subchondral mineralisation as a measure of the mechanical adaptability of joints in the living subject.