University of Oulu

Vendries, V., Ungi, T., Harry, J. et al. Three-dimensional ultrasound for knee osteophyte depiction: a comparative study to computed tomography. Int J CARS 16, 1749–1759 (2021).

Three-dimensional ultrasound for knee osteophyte depiction : a comparative study to computed tomography

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Author: Vendries, Valeria1; Ungi, Tamas2; Harry, Jordan1;
Organizations: 1Anatomical Sciences Program and Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Queens University, Kingston, ON, K7L3 N6, Canada
2School of Computing, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, K7L 3N6, Canada
3Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, McGill University, Montreal, QC, H3A 0G4, Canada
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-11-25


Purpose: Osteophytes are common radiographic markers of osteoarthritis. However, they are not accurately depicted using conventional imaging, thus hampering surgical interventions that rely on pre-operative images. Studies have shown that ultrasound (US) is promising at detecting osteophytes and monitoring the progression of osteoarthritis. Furthermore, three-dimensional (3D) ultrasound reconstructions may offer a means to quantify osteophytes. The purpose of this study was to compare the accuracy of osteophyte depiction in the knee joint between 3D US and conventional computed tomography (CT).

Methods: Eleven human cadaveric knees were pre-screened for the presence of osteophytes. Three osteoarthritic knees were selected, and then, 3D US and CT images were obtained, segmented, and digitally reconstructed in 3D. After dissection, high-resolution structured light scanner (SLS) images of the joint surfaces were obtained. Surface matching and root mean square (RMS) error analyses of surface distances were performed to assess the accuracy of each modality in capturing osteophytes. The RMS errors were compared between 3D US, CT and SLS models.

Results: Average RMS error comparisons for 3D US versus SLS and CT versus SLS models were 0.87 mm ± 0.33 mm (average ± standard deviation) and 0.95 mm ± 0.32 mm, respectively. No statistical difference was found between 3D US and CT. Comparative observations of imaging modalities suggested that 3D US better depicted osteophytes with cartilage and fibrocartilage tissue characteristics compared to CT.

Conclusion: Using 3D US can improve the depiction of osteophytes with a cartilaginous portion compared to CT. It can also provide useful information about the presence and extent of osteophytes. Whilst algorithm improvements for automatic segmentation and registration of US are needed to provide a more robust investigation of osteophyte depiction accuracy, this investigation puts forward the potential application for 3D US in routine diagnostic evaluations and pre-operative planning of osteoarthritis.

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Series: International journal of computer assisted radiology and surgery
ISSN: 1861-6410
ISSN-E: 1861-6429
ISSN-L: 1861-6410
Volume: 16
Issue: 10
Pages: 1749 - 1759
DOI: 10.1007/s11548-021-02456-4
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3126 Surgery, anesthesiology, intensive care, radiology
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