Automatic Recognition of Bone for X-Ray Bone Densitometry
Statistics and Probability
We described a method for automatically identifying and separating pixels representing bone from those representing soft tissue in a dual- energy point-scanned projection radiograph of the abdomen. In order to achieve stable quantitative measurement of projected bone mineral density, a calibration using sample bone in regions containing only soft tissue must be performed. In addition, the projected area of bone must be measured. We show that, using an image with a realistically low noise, the histogram of pixel values exhibits a well-defined peak corresponding to the soft tissue region. A threshold at a fixed multiple of the calibration segment value readily separates bone from soft tissue in a wide variety of patient studies. Our technique, which is employed in the Hologic QDR-1000 Bone Densitometer, is rapid, robust, and significantly simpler than a conventional artificial intelligence approach using edge-detection to define objects and expert systems to recognize them.