Osteoporotic fractures are associated with substantial morbidity, increased medical cost and high mortality risk.
Several equipments of bone assessment have been developed to identify individuals, especially postmenopausal women,
with high risk of osteoporotic fracture; however, a large segment of women with low skeletal bone mineral density
(BMD), namely women with high risk of osteoporotic fractures, cannot be identified sufficiently because osteoporosis is
Recent studies have been demonstrating that mandibular inferior cortical width manually measured on
panoramic radiographs may be useful for the identification of women with low BMD. Automatic measurement of
cortical width may enable us to identify a large number of asymptomatic women with low BMD. The purpose of this
study was to develop a computer-aided system for measuring the mandibular cortical width on panoramic radiographs.
Initially, oral radiologists determined the region of interest based on the position of mental foramen. Some
enhancing image techniques were applied so as to measure the cortical width at the best point. Panoramic radiographs of
100 women who had BMD assessments of the lumbar spine and femoral neck were used to confirm the efficacy of our
new system. Cortical width measured with our system was compared with skeletal BMD. There were significant
correlation between cortical width measured with our system and skeletal BMD. These correlations were similar with
those between cortical width manually measured by the dentist and skeletal BMD. Our results suggest that our new
system may be useful for mass screening of osteoporosis.
computer-aided diagnosis, osteoporosis, mandibular cortex, mental foramen, image thresholding, panoramic radiograph