Inter-Rater Reliability and Correlation of L1 Hounsfield Unit Measurements with DXA Scores

Academic Article


  • Introduction: While prior studies have generally reported rigorous protocols using prespecified CT scanner settings for HU measurements, the present study sought to report on the correlation between DXA and HUs recorded using several CT scanners with varying sequences, simulating measurements performed in “real-world” hospital and Emergency Department (ED) settings. Methodology: Six raters performed HU measurements of trabecular bone at the L1 vertebral body for forty consecutive patients on Phillips and General Electric (GE) abdominal CT scans obtained between 2017 and 2021. Inter-rater reliability of the HU measurements and their correlations with recorded DXA-based bone assessments were determined. Correlation coefficients were calculated for the HU measurements between scanner vendors as well as for the CT HUs with each DXA measurement. Results: The ICC for L1 HUs read on the Phillips and GE scanners were 0.85 and 0.82, respectively, indicating excellent agreement. The correlation coefficient for the mean HUs on the Phillips and GE scanners was 0.92, also indicating excellent correlation. For both scanner vendors, the HU values most closely correlated with the total femur and femoral neck T-scores. Conclusions: HU values recorded on a Phillips and GE scanner both demonstrated excellent inter-rater reliability. Correlations were strongest between L1 HU values and total femur DXA T-scores. Readily available abdominal CT image data across multiple hospital settings can be utilized by providers of varying level of imaging interpretation expertise to determine vertebral body Hounsfield units that may help identify osteoporosis risk without additional radiation exposure or cost.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 27075036
  • Author List

  • Mooney J; Morgan S; Brockington D; Rehder D; Rothenberg S; Omar N; MacLennan P; Chambers MR
  • Start Page

  • 668
  • End Page

  • 673
  • Volume

  • 25
  • Issue

  • 4