Clinical versus pre-clinical FE models for vertebral body strength predictions

Pahr, Dieter H.; Schwiedrzik, Johann Jakob; Dall'Ara, Enrico; Zysset, Philippe (2014). Clinical versus pre-clinical FE models for vertebral body strength predictions. Journal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials, 33, pp. 76-83. Elsevier 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2012.11.018

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The finite element analysis is an accepted method to predict vertebral body compressive strength. This study compares measurements obtained from in vitro tests with the ones from two different simulation models: clinical quantitative computer tomography (QCT) based homogenized finite element (hFE) models and pre-clinical high-resolution peripheral QCT-based (HR-pQCT) hFE models.

About 37 vertebral body sections were prepared by removing end-plates and posterior elements, scanned with QCT (390/450μm voxel size) as well as HR-pQCT (82μm voxel size), and tested in compression up to failure. Non-linear viscous damage hFE models were created from QCT/HT-pQCT images and compared to experimental results based on stiffness and ultimate load.

As expected, the predictability of QCT/HR-pQCT-based hFE models for both apparent stiffness (r2=0.685/0.801r2=0.685/0.801) and strength (r2=0.774/0.924r2=0.774/0.924) increased if a better image resolution was used. An analysis of the damage distribution showed similar damage locations for all cases.

In conclusion, HR-pQCT-based hFE models increased the predictability considerably and do not need any tuning of input parameters. In contrast, QCT-based hFE models usually need some tuning but are clinically the only possible choice at the moment.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute for Surgical Technology & Biomechanics ISTB [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Schwiedrzik, Johann Jakob, Zysset, Philippe


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
600 Technology > 620 Engineering








Philippe Zysset

Date Deposited:

13 Oct 2014 11:41

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:35

Publisher DOI:





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