Correlation between micro-computed tomography and histomorphometry for assessment of new bone formation in a calvarial experimental model

Hey Ri Yeom, Steven Blanchard, Seokjin Kim, Susan Zunt, Tien Min G. Chu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


Conventional histologic or histomorphometric evaluation provides clear evidence of the bone healing process. However, the sample preparation process is tedious and destructive, and the three-dimensional (3D) anisotropic information of the bone trabeculae is compromised. Micro-computed tomography (μCT) has been introduced as an alternative to these traditional evaluation methods. μCT is noninvasive and provides a faster approach to evaluate and quantify cancellous bone. Most previous studies that used μCT have focused on studying trabecular structures of cancellous bone. In this study, we used μCT to analyze the micro-architecture of the regenerated membranous bone using a rabbit cranial defect model. Two 1 cm diameter circular bony defects were created in 12 New Zealand white rabbits. Specimens were harvested at 6 weeks and 12 weeks after surgery and were scanned using a MicroCT machine (Skyscan 1072, Aartselaar, Belgium). The specimens were then sectioned and stained with Goldner's trichrome. Bone volume density (BV/TV), bone surface density (BS/BV), and trabecular thickness (TbTh) were determined from histomorphometric and two-dimensional (2D) and 3D μCT analysis. Pearson's correlation coefficient (γ), paired t-tests, and intraclass correlation coefficients from measurements between the 2D and 3D μCT and histomorphometry were calculated. There were very strong positive correlations of BV/TV between histomorphometric and 2D or 3D μCT measurements. Correlation between histomorphometric and 2D μCT measurements for BS/BV was moderate, whereas correlation between histomorphometric and 3D μCT measurements was weak. Weak correlations in TbTh among the three methods were found. In conclusion, the present study suggests that, in evaluating micro-architectures in regenerated bones, the correlation between measuring methods vary according to the features measured.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)446-452
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Craniofacial Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2008


  • Histomorphometric analysis
  • Intramembranous bone formation
  • Micro-computed tomography
  • Wound healing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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