University of Oulu

S. Kauppinen, S.S. Karhula, J. Thevenot, T. Ylitalo, L. Rieppo, I. Kestilä, M. Haapea, I. Hadjab, M.A. Finnilä, E. Quenneville, M. Garon, H.K. Gahunia, K.P.H. Pritzker, M.D. Buschmann, S. Saarakkala, H.J. Nieminen, 3D morphometric analysis of calcified cartilage properties using micro-computed tomography, Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, Volume 27, Issue 1, 2019, Pages 172-180, ISSN 1063-4584,

3D morphometric analysis of calcified cartilage properties using micro-computed tomography

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Author: Kauppinen, S.1; Karhula, S.S.1,2; Thevenot, J.1,2;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Infotech, University of Oulu, Finland
3Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
4Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
5Polytechnique Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
6Biomomentum Inc., 970 Michelin St., Suite 200, Laval, Quebec H7L 5C1, Canada
7Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
8Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
9Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada
10Department of Neuroscience and Biomedical Engineering, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.8 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-03-09


Objective: Our aim is to establish methods for quantifying morphometric properties of calcified cartilage (CC) from micro-computed tomography (μCT). Furthermore, we evaluated the feasibility of these methods in investigating relationships between osteoarthritis (OA), tidemark surface morphology and open subchondral channels (OSCCs).

Method: Samples (n = 15) used in this study were harvested from human lateral tibial plateau (n = 8). Conventional roughness and parameters assessing local 3-dimensional (3D) surface variations were used to quantify the surface morphology of the CC. Subchondral channel properties (percentage, density, size) were also calculated. As a reference, histological sections were evaluated using Histopathological osteoarthritis grading (OARSI) and thickness of CC and subchondral bone (SCB) was quantified.

Results: OARSI grade correlated with a decrease in local 3D variations of the tidemark surface (amount of different surface patterns (rs = −0.600, P = 0.018), entropy of patterns (EP) (rs = −0.648, P = 0.018), homogeneity index (HI) (rs = 0.555, P = 0.032)) and tidemark roughness (TMR) (rs = −0.579, P = 0.024). Amount of different patterns (ADP) and EP associated with channel area fraction (CAF) (rp = 0.876, P «< 0.0001; rp = 0.665, P = 0.007, respectively) and channel density (CD) (rp = 0.680, P = 0.011; rp = 0.582, P = 0.023, respectively). TMR was associated with CAF (rp = 0.926, P «< 0.0001) and average channel size (rp = 0.574, P = 0.025). CC topography differed statistically significantly in early OA vs healthy samples.

Conclusion: We introduced a μ-CT image method to quantify 3D CC topography and perforations through CC. CC topography was associated with OARSI grade and OSCC properties; this suggests that the established methods can detect topographical changes in tidemark and CC perforations associated with OA.

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Series: Osteoarthritis and cartilage
ISSN: 1063-4584
ISSN-E: 1522-9653
ISSN-L: 1063-4584
Volume: 27
Issue: 1
Pages: 172 - 180
DOI: 10.1016/j.joca.2018.09.009
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3126 Surgery, anesthesiology, intensive care, radiology
Funding: The financial support from the Academy of Finland (grants no. 268378, and 303786); Sigrid Jusélius Foundation; European Research Council under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007-2013)/ERC Grant Agreement no. 336267; and the strategic funding of the University of Oulu are acknowledged. We thank Ms Tarja Huhta for preparing histological sections.
EU Grant Number: (336267) 3D-OA-HISTO - Development of 3D Histopathological Grading of Osteoarthritis
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 268378
Detailed Information: 268378 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
303786 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of Osteoarthritis Research Society International. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (