Bone Volume Fraction and Fabric Anisotropy Are Better Determinants of Trabecular Bone Stiffness than Other Morphological Variables

Maquer, Ghislain Bernard; Musy, Sarah N.; Wandel, Jasmin; Gross, Thomas; Zysset, Philippe (2015). Bone Volume Fraction and Fabric Anisotropy Are Better Determinants of Trabecular Bone Stiffness than Other Morphological Variables. Journal of bone and mineral research, 30(6), pp. 1000-1008. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1002/jbmr.2437

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As our population ages, more individuals suffer from osteoporosis. This disease leads to impaired trabecular architecture and increased fracture risk. It is essential to understand how morphological and mechanical properties of the cancellous bone are related. Morphologyelasticity relationships based on bone volume fraction (BV/TV) and fabric anisotropy explain up to 98% of the variation in elastic properties. Yet, other morphological variables such as individual trabeculae segmentation (ITS) and trabecular bone score (TBS) could improve the stiffness predictions. A total of 743 micro-computed tomography reconstructions of cubic trabecular bone samples extracted from femur, radius, vertebrae and iliac crest were analysed. Their morphology was assessed via 25 variables and their stiffness tensor (inline image) was computed from six independent load cases using micro finite element analyses. Variance inflation factors were calculated to evaluate collinearity between morphological variables and decide upon their inclusion in morphology-elasticity relationships. The statistically admissible morphological variables were included in a multi-linear regression modelling the dependent variable inline image. The contribution of each independent variable was evaluated (ANOVA). Our results show that BV/TV is the best determinant of inline image (inline image=0.889), especially in combination with fabric (inline image=0.968). Including the other independent predictors hardly affected the amount of variance explained by the model (inline image=0.975). Across all anatomical sites, BV/TV explained 87% of the variance of the bone elastic properties. Fabric further described 10% of the bone stiffness, but the improvement in variance explanation by adding other independent factors was marginal (<1%). These findings confirm that BV/TV and fabric are the best determinants of trabecular bone stiffness and show, against common belief, that other morphological variables do not bring any further contribution. These overall conclusions remain to be confirmed for specific bone diseases and post-elastic properties.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute for Surgical Technology & Biomechanics ISTB [discontinued]
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Mathematics and Statistics > Institute of Mathematical Statistics and Actuarial Science

UniBE Contributor:

Maquer, Ghislain Bernard, Wandel, Jasmin, Zysset, Philippe


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services
500 Science > 510 Mathematics
600 Technology > 620 Engineering








Ghislain Bernard Maquer

Date Deposited:

16 Jan 2015 16:08

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:39

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