Linear regression model for predicting patient-specific total skeletal spongiosa volume for use in molecular radiotherapy dosimetry

James M. Brindle, A. Alexandre Trindade, Amish P. Shah, Derek W. Jokisch, Phillip W. Patton, J. Carlos Pichardo, Wesley E. Bolch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The toxicity of red bone marrow is widely considered to be a key factor in restricting the activity administered in molecular radiotherapy to suboptimal levels. The assessment of marrow toxicity requires an assessment of the dose absorbed by red bone marrow which, in many cases, requires knowledge of the total red bone marrow mass in a given patient. Previous studies demonstrated, however, that a close surrogate - spongiosa volume (combined tissues of trabecular bone and marrow) - can be used to accurately scale reference patient red marrow dose estimates and that these dose estimates are predictive of marrow toxicity. Consequently, a predictive model of the total skeletal spongiosa volume (TSSV) would be a clinically useful tool for improving patient specificity in skeletal dosimetry. Methods: In this study, 10 male and 10 female cadavers were subjected to whole-body CT scans. Manual image segmentation was used to estimate the TSSV in all 13 active marrow-containing skeletal sites within the adult skeleton. The age, total body height, and 14 CT-based skeletal measurements were obtained for each cadaver. Multiple regression was used with the dependent variables to develop a model to predict the TSSV. Results: Os coxae height and width were the 2 skeletal measurements that proved to be the most important parameters for prediction of the TSSV. The multiple R2 value for the statistical model with these 2 parameters was 0.87. The analysis revealed that these 2 parameters predicted the estimated the TSSV to within approximately ±10% for 15 of the 20 cadavers and to within approximately ±20% for all 20 cadavers in this study. Conclusion: Although the utility of spongiosa volume in estimating patient-specific active marrow mass has been shown, estimation of the TSSV in active marrow-containing skeletal sites via patient-specific image segmentation is not a simple endeavor. However, the alternate approach demonstrated in this study is fairly simple to implement in a clinical setting, as the 2 input measurements (os coxae height and width) can be made with either pelvic CT scanning or skeletal radiography.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1875-1883
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2006


  • Active bone marrow
  • Bone marrow
  • Radiation dosimetry
  • Radionuclide therapy
  • Spongiosa volume


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