Micro CT provides much greater accuracy when measuring bone mineralization and density. Scientists have performed a study which has demonstrated and reviewed the competence of micro CT scan in postmenopausal osteoporosis1.
High resolution microCT imaging has become widely applicable in bone research field due to its better and accurate information related to bone structural parameters. This technique provides more accuracy in measurement of bone mineralization as compared to previous radiological techniques. It may be used to analyze human bone and animal bone. Due to its high resolution, it is possible to analyze data from bone areas as small as the trabeculae of small rodents, such as mice and rats. It was originally developed for in vitro use which later led to an increase in the use of in vivo microCT.
Previous studies have accounted widely that microCT is competent of analyzing cortical and trabecular bone discretely which was not possible with other X-ray tools. The microCT can measure changes in cortical thickness in the range of 10-20% which is undetectable when using other X-ray imaging tools2.
Post-menopausal osteoporosis is the most common type of the ailment due to estrogen deficit subsequent to menopause3. Many reasons are responsible for 75 percent women being affected by osteoporosis, whereas men accounts for 25%. The skeletal size of women is smaller and the bone mass is low as compared to men4. Women are prone to rapid bone loss due to estrogen reduction following menopause and thirdly, in almost every population, women have a longer life expectancy than men. As a consequence, there are progressively growing proportion of women at advanced ages5.
For this study a comprehensive search via the two databases was held. The results were set find research articles published in English. Specifically that reported on the link between microCT findings and bone changes in the postmenopausal osteoporosis rat model.
Those studies were expelled if they were repeated, did not use an ovariectomized-induced postmenopausal rat model and did not focus on microCT as the primary outcome. The literature search identified 182 potentially relevant articles that were later limited to 22 studies based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria. 14 in vitro microCT studies and 7 in vivo microCT studies were selected. One report that combined both in vitro and in vivo microCT studies was included.
This evidence-based study highlighted the ability of microCT to not only assess bone micro architecture but also bone mineral density and bone strength.
In future it will be important to use a standardized protocol for each specific microCT model to determine bone micro architectural changes in rodents more uniformly, based on the protocols observed in the study. Furthermore, the use of the competent, high resolution and perceptive microCT technique should not be constrained to animal experiments. It should be used widely on humans to provide better understanding and a true picture of micro architectural changes in human bone.
Written by: Rabeeia
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17 November, 2019