The healing of large bone defects has been investigated for decades due to its complexity and clinical relevance. Ultrasound (US) methods have shown promise in monitoring bone healing, but no quantitative method to assess regenerated bone morphology in US images has been presented yet. In this study, we investigate new US morphometric parameters to quantify bone regeneration in vivo. A segmental tibial defect was surgically created and stabilized in a sheep animal model. US and computed tomography (CT) imaging data were collected two months post-surgery. New bone was assessed, reconstructed and quantified from the US and CT data using 3 morphometric parameters: the new-bone bulk (NBB), new-bone surface (NBS) and new-bone contact (NBC). The distance (mm) between surface reconstructions from repeated US was 0.49 ± 0.30 and from US and CT was 0.89 ± 0.49. In the mid-shaft of the defected tibia, US measurements of NBB, NBS and NBC were significantly higher than the corresponding CT measurements (p< 0.001). Based on our results, we conclude that US may complement CT to reconstruct and quantify bone regrowth, especially in its early stages.
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