Assessment of Bone Mass and Microarchitecture in Rodents

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


This chapter reviews the imaging techniques commonly used to assess bone mass and microarchitecture in rodents, paying particular attention to their advantages and disadvantages, as well as technical challenges associated with each technique. It discusses imaging techniques, such as radiographs, peripheral dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (pDXA), peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and nanocomputed tomography (nCT). Structural measurements obtained from microcomputed tomography (μCT) or other 3D imaging techniques are strongly dependent on a number of technical issues associated with the analysis, including (i) the scan resolution (voxel size), (ii) the segmentation algorithm and threshold used to delineate soft tissue from bone, (iii) the skeletal site(s) and volumes of interest, and (iv) calibration of the system using density phantoms. Assessment of skeletal mass and morphology in rodents via nondestructive imaging is an important component of current investigations aimed at improving our understanding of musculoskeletal development, growth, adaptation, and disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPrimer on the Metabolic Bone Diseases and Disorders of Mineral Metabolism
Subtitle of host publicationEighth Edition
PublisherWiley Blackwell
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781118453926
ISBN (Print)9781118453889
StatePublished - Jul 19 2013


  • Bone mass
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Microarchitecture
  • Microcomputed tomography (μCT)
  • Nanocomputed tomography (nCT)
  • Peripheral dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (pDXA)
  • Peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT)
  • Radiographs
  • Rodents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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