Voxel-based modeling and quantification of the proximal femur using inter-subject registration of quantitative CT images

Wenjun Li, Irina Kezele, D. Louis Collins, Alex Zijdenbos, Joyce Keyak, John Kornak, Alain Koyama, Isra Saeed, Adrian LeBlanc, Tamara Harris, Ying Lu, Thomas Lang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


We have developed a general framework which employs quantitative computed tomography (QCT) imaging and inter-subject image registration to model the three-dimensional structure of the hip, with the goal of quantifying changes in the spatial distribution of bone as it is affected by aging, drug treatment or mechanical unloading. We have adapted rigid and non-rigid inter-subject registration techniques to transform groups of hip QCT scans into a common reference space and to construct composite proximal femoral models. We have applied this technique to a longitudinal study of 16 astronauts who on average, incurred high losses of hip bone density during spaceflights of 4–6 months on the International Space Station (ISS). We compared the pre-flight and post-flight composite hip models, and observed the gradients of the bone loss distribution. We performed paired t-tests, on a voxel by voxel basis, corrected for multiple comparisons using false discovery rate (FDR), and observed regions inside the proximal femur that showed the most significant bone loss. To validate our registration algorithm, we selected the 16 pre-flight scans and manually marked 4 landmarks for each scan. After registration, the average distance between the mapped landmarks and the corresponding landmarks in the target scan was 2.56 mm. The average error due to manual landmark identification was 1.70 mm.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)888-895
Number of pages8
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • image processing
  • image registration
  • modeling
  • quantitative computed tomography
  • proximal femur
  • bone mineral density
  • bone loss
  • spaceflight
  • osteoporosis


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