Dynamic simulation of three dimensional architectural and mechanical alterations in human trabecular bone during menopause

X. S. Liu, A. H. Huang, X. Henry Zhang, Paul Sajda, B. Ji, X. E. Guo

A three dimensional (3D) computational simulation of dynamic process of trabecular bone remodeling was developed with all the parameters derived from physiological and clinical data. Contributions of the microstructural bone formation deficits: trabecular plate perforations, trabecular rod breakages, and isolated bone fragments, to the rapid bone loss and disruption of trabecular microarchitecture during menopause were studied. Eighteen human trabecular bone samples from femoral neck (FN) and spine were scanned using a micro computed tomography (╬╝CT) system. Bone resorption and formation were simulated as a computational cycle corresponding to 40-day resorption/160-day formation. Resorption cavities were randomly created over the bone surface according to the activation frequency, which was strictly based on clinical data. Every resorption cavity was refilled during formation unless it caused trabecular plate perforation, trabecular rod breakage or isolated fragments. A 20-year-period starting 5 years before and ending 15 years after menopause was simulated for each specimen. Elastic moduli, standard and individual trabeculae segmentation (ITS)-based morphological parameters were evaluated for each simulated 3D image. For both spine and FN groups, the time courses of predicted bone loss pattern by microstructural bone formation deficits were fairly consistent with the clinical measurements. The percentage of bone loss due to trabecular plate perforation, trabecular rod breakage, and isolated bone fragments were 73.2%, 18.9% and 7.9% at the simulated 15 years after menopause. The ITS-based plate fraction (pBV/BV), mean plate surface area (pTb.S), plate number density (pTb.N), and mean rod thickness (rTb.Th) decreased while rod fraction (rBV/BV) and rod number density (rTb.N) increased after the simulated menopause. The dynamic bone remodeling simulation based on microstructural bone formation deficits predicted the time course of menopausal bone loss pattern of spine and FN. Microstructural plate perforation could be the primary cause of menopausal trabecular bone loss. The combined effect of trabeculae perforation, breakage, and isolated fragments resulted in fewer and smaller trabecular plates and more but thinner trabecular rods.

Accepted 18 April 2008
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