Osteocyte-based image analysis for quantitation of histologically apparent femoral head osteonecrosis: Application to an emu model

Karen L. Reed, Michael G. Conzemius, Robert A. Robinson, Thomas D. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Femoral head osteonecrosis is often characterized histologically by the presence of empty lacunae in the affected bony regions. The shape, size and location of a necrotic lesion influences prognosis, and can, in principle, be quantified by mapping the distribution of empty lacunae within a femoral head. An algorithm is here described that automatically identifies the locations of osteocyte-filled vs. empty lacunae. The algorithm is applied to necrotic lesions surgically induced in the emu, a large bipedal animal model in which osteonecrosis progresses to collapse, as occurs in humans. The animals' femoral heads were harvested at sacrifice, and hematoxylin and eosin-stained histological preparations of the coronal midsections were digitized and image-analyzed. The algorithm's performance in detecting empty lacunae was validated by comparing its results to corresponding assessments by six trained histologists. The percentage of osteocyte-filled lacunae identified by the algorithm vs. by the human readers was statistically indistinguishable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-32
Number of pages8
JournalComputer methods in biomechanics and biomedical engineering
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding provided by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, the Roy J. Carver Foundation, and NIH grants #AR46601 and AR49901. Thanks to Drs Stephen Hillis, Fred Dee, Wanda Gordon and Jim Martin, and to Mr Steven Westra, Mrs Sarah Stewart and Ms Deborah Guthrie for their assistance.

Keywords

  • Femoral head
  • Histology
  • Image analysis
  • Lacunae
  • Osteonecrosis

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