Analysis of trabecular bone using site-specific fractal values calculated from cone beam CT images

Laurence Gaalaas, Lisa Henn, Philippe R. Gaillard, Mansur Ahmad, Mohammad Saiful Islam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective The purpose of the study was to explore the use of cone beam CT (CBCT) images to calculate fractal values of trabecular bone. Materials and methods Seventy-nine CBCT scans were used. Seven sites were selected from each scan. These sites were: coronal views of the (1) right and (2) left side of the mandible; coronal views of the (3) right and (4) left maxilla; axially corrected coronal views of the (5) right and (6) left condylar heads through the largest width, and (7) a sagittal section through the second cervical vertebral (C2) body. Fractal values were calculated from a total of 553 images using the box-counting method. These values were categorized and analyzed for site- and gender-specific differences. Result Fractal values decreased in most of the sites with increasing age. Values in males were generally higher than those in females. Values did not change significantly from right side to left side of the jaw. However, values from the mandible, maxilla, condyle and C2 vertebrae differed significantly from each other, suggesting a site-specific nature of the fractal value (p < 0.001). The lowest and highest fractal values were in the mandible and C2 vertebrae, respectively (1.313 and 1.536, respectively). Conclusion Fractal values can detect differences in the trabecular bone morphology in different parts of the jaw. Fractal values can potentially be used for objective analysis of the trabecular bone using CBCT images.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-185
Number of pages7
JournalOral Radiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Conflict of interest Laurence Gaalaas received a summer research fellowship in 2009. The authors do not have any financial interest to disclose. This publication [or project] was supported by grant no. 1UL1RR033183 from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to the University of Minnesota Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CTSI or the NIH. The


  • Cone beam CT
  • Fractal analysis
  • Trabecular bone


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