The ultrasound (US) backscattering method has been introduced as an alternative for the through-transmission measurement of sound attenuation and speed in diagnosis of osteoporosis. Both attenuation and backscattering depend strongly on the US frequency. In this study, 20 human trabecular bone samples were measured in transmission and pulse-echo geometry in vitro. The aim of the study was to find the most sensitive frequency range for the quantitative ultrasound (QUS) analyses. Normalized broadband US attenuation (nBUA), speed of sound (SOS), broadband US backscatter (BUB) and integrated reflection coefficient (IRC) were determined for each sample. The samples were spatially scanned with five pairs of US transducers covering a frequency range of 0.2-6.7 MHz. Furthermore, mechanical properties and density of the same samples were determined. At all frequencies, SOS, BUB and IRC showed statistically significant linear correlations with the mechanical properties or density of human trabecular bone (0.51 < r < 0.82, 0.54 < r < 0.81 and 0.70 < r < 0.85, respectively). In contrast to SOS, IRC and BUB, nBUA showed statistically significant correlations with mechanical parameters or density at the centre frequency of 1 MHz only. Our results suggest that frequencies up to 5 MHz can be useful in QUS analyses for the prediction of bone mechanical properties and density. Since the use of higher frequencies provides better axial and spatial resolution, improved structural analyses may be possible. While extensive attenuation of high frequencies in trabecular bone limits the clinically feasible frequency range, selection of optimal frequency range for in vivo QUS application should be carefully considered.

dx.doi.org/10.1088/0031-9155/50/8/001, hdl.handle.net/1765/60380
Physics in Medicine and Biology
Department of Orthopaedics

Hakulinen, M.A, Day, J.S, Töyräs, J, Timonen, M, Kröger, N, Weinans, H.H, … Jurvelin, J.S. (2005). Prediction of density and mechanical properties of human trabecular bone in vitro by using ultrasound transmission and backscattering measurements at 0.2-6.7 MHz frequency range. Physics in Medicine and Biology, 50(8), 1629–1642. doi:10.1088/0031-9155/50/8/001