On the influence of computed tomography's slice thickness on computer tomography based finite element analyses results

Leetal Eliyahu, Zohar Yosibash, Irit Avivi, Yael C. Cohen, Gal Ariel, Ofer Sadovnic, Amir Sternheim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Patient-specific autonomous finite element analyses of femurs, based on clinical computed tomography scans may be used to monitor the progression of bone-related diseases. Some CT scan protocols provide lower resolution (slice thickness of 3 mm) that affects the accuracy. To investigate the impact of low-resolution scans on the CT-based finite element analyses results, identical CT raw data were reconstructed twice to generate a 1 mm (“gold standard”) and a 3 mm slice thickness scans. Methods: CT-based finite element analyses of twenty-four femurs (twelve patients) under stance and sideways fall loads were performed based on 1 and 3 mm slice thickness scans. Bone volume, load direction, and strains were extracted at different locations along the femurs and differences were evaluated. Findings: Average differences in bone volume were 1.0 ± 1.5%. The largest average difference in strains in stance position was in the neck region (11.0 ± 13.4%), whereas in other regions these were much smaller. For sidewise fall loading, the average differences were at most 9.2 ± 16.0%. Interpretation: Whole-body low dose CT scans (3 mm-slice thickness) are suboptimal for monitoring strain changes in patient's femurs but may allow longitudinal studies if larger than 5% in all areas and larger than 12% in the upper neck. CT-based finite element analyses with slice thickness of 3 mm may be used in clinical practice for patients with smoldering myeloma to associate changes in strains with progression to active myeloma if above ∼10%.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105889
JournalClinical Biomechanics
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Autonomous finite element analysis
  • CT-based finite element analysis
  • Femur
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Slice thickness

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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