2D-3D reconstruction of the proximal femur from DXA scans: Evaluation of the 3D-Shaper software.

Dudle, Alice; Gugler, Yvan; Pretterklieber, Michael; Ferrari, Serge; Lippuner, Kurt; Zysset, Philippe (2023). 2D-3D reconstruction of the proximal femur from DXA scans: Evaluation of the 3D-Shaper software. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, 11, p. 1111020. Frontiers Media 10.3389/fbioe.2023.1111020

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Introduction: Osteoporosis is currently diagnosed based on areal bone mineral density (aBMD) computed from 2D DXA scans. However, aBMD is a limited surrogate for femoral strength since it does not account for 3D bone geometry and density distribution. QCT scans combined with finite element (FE) analysis can deliver improved femoral strength predictions. However, non-negligible radiation dose and high costs prevent a systematic usage of this technique for screening purposes. As an alternative, the 3D-Shaper software (3D-Shaper Medical, Spain) reconstructs the 3D shape and density distribution of the femur from 2D DXA scans. This approach could deliver a more accurate estimation of femoral strength than aBMD by using FE analysis on the reconstructed 3D DXA. Methods: Here we present the first independent evaluation of the software, using a dataset of 77 ex vivo femora. We extend a prior evaluation by including the density distribution differences, the spatial correlation of density values and an FE analysis. Yet, cortical thickness is left out of this evaluation, since the cortex is not resolved in our FE models. Results: We found an average surface distance of 1.16 mm between 3D DXA and QCT images, which shows a good reconstruction of the bone geometry. Although BMD values obtained from 3D DXA and QCT correlated well (r 2 = 0.92), the 3D DXA BMD were systematically lower. The average BMD difference amounted to 64 mg/cm3, more than one-third of the 3D DXA BMD. Furthermore, the low correlation (r 2 = 0.48) between density values of both images indicates a limited reconstruction of the 3D density distribution. FE results were in good agreement between QCT and 3D DXA images, with a high coefficient of determination (r 2 = 0.88). However, this correlation was not statistically different from a direct prediction by aBMD. Moreover, we found differences in the fracture patterns between the two image types. QCT-based FE analysis resulted mostly in femoral neck fractures and 3D DXA-based FE in subcapital or pertrochanteric fractures. Discussion: In conclusion, 3D-Shaper generates an altered BMD distribution compared to QCT but, after careful density calibration, shows an interesting potential for deriving a standardized femoral strength from a DXA scan.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Musculoskeletal Biomechanics
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Orthopaedic, Plastic and Hand Surgery (DOPH) > Clinic of Osteoporosis

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Dudle, Alice, Gugler, Yvan (B), Lippuner, Kurt, Zysset, Philippe


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Frontiers Media




Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

21 Mar 2023 10:26

Last Modified:

19 Oct 2023 18:21

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

2D-3D reconstruction 3D-Shaper BMD DXA FE QCT bone strength femur





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