High resolution CT imaging of finger joints: Automation of cortical interruption detection

Michaël Petrus Henricus Peters

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

655 Downloads (Pure)


Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease characterised by inflammation of the joints causing bone destruction of, for instance, the finger joints. High-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT) is a new technology allowing the assessment of bone microstructure and bone density and consequently the detection of minor damage (i.e. cortical disruptions). Up to now, cortical disruptions found on HR-pQCT images have been visually scored, which is a rather unreliable, time-consuming method. This dissertation shows the development of a computer algorithm allowing reliable detection of minor cortical disruptions of the finger joints. We found that patients with rheumatoid arthritis had more cortical disruptions and a lower bone density. In summary, this dissertation shows that HR-pQCT combined with our algorithm has great potential for the evaluation of (early) bone damage of the finger joints in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. This method can be a useful addition to the currently available imaging techniques, not only in terms of detecting cortical disruptions but also in terms of quantifying bone density and bone microstructure.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • van den Bergh, Joop, Supervisor
  • Geusens, P.P.M.M., Supervisor
  • van Tubergen, Astrid, Co-Supervisor
  • van Rietbergen, B., Co-Supervisor, External person
Award date6 Sept 2018
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789493014077
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • high-resolution CT
  • imaging
  • bone
  • bone density
  • bone microstructure

Cite this