BMC musculoskeletal disorders 2017 01 0618(1) 6 doi 10.1186/s12891-016-1348-5
The Digital X-ray Radiogrammetry (DXR) method measures the cortical bone thickness in the shafts of the metacarpals and has demonstrated its relevance in the assessment of hand bone loss caused by rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The aim of this study was to validate a novel approach of the DXR method in comparison with the original version considering patients with RA.
The study includes 49 patients with verified RA. The new version is an extension of the BoneXpert method commonly used in pediatrics which has these characteristics: (1) It introduces a new technique to analyze the images which automatically validates the results for most images, and (2) it defines the measurement region relative to the ends of the metacarpals. The BoneXpert method measures the Metacarpal Index (MCI) at the metacarpal bone (II to IV). Additionally, the MCI is quantified by the DXR X-posure System.
The new version correctly analyzed all 49 images, and 45 were automatically validated. The standard deviation between the MCI results of the two versions was 2.9% of the mean MCI. The average Larsen score was 2.6 with a standard deviation of 1.3. The correlation of MCI to Larsen score was -0.81 in both versions, and there was no significant difference in their ability to detect erosions.
The new DXR version (BoneXpert) validated 92% of the cases automatically, while the same good correlation to RA severity could be presented compared to the old version.