A Comparison of Peripheral Imaging Technologies for Bone and Muscle Quantification: A Review of Segmentation Techniques
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Musculoskeletal science has developed many overlapping branches, necessitating specialists from 1 area of focus to often require the expertise in others. In terms of imaging, this means obtaining a comprehensive illustration of bone, muscle, and fat tissues. There is currently a lack of a reliable resource for end users to learn about these tissues' imaging and quantification techniques together. An improved understanding of these tissues has been an important progression toward better prediction of disease outcomes and better elucidation of their interaction with frailty, aging, and metabolic disorders. Over the last decade, there have been major advances into the image acquisition and segmentation of bone, muscle, and fat features using computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and peripheral modules of these systems. Dedicated peripheral quantitative musculoskeletal imaging systems have paved the way for mobile research units, lower cost clinical research facilities, and improved resolution per unit cost paid. The purpose of this review was to detail the segmentation techniques available for each of these peripheral CT and MRI modalities and to describe advances in segmentation methods as applied to study longitudinal changes and treatment-related dynamics. Although the peripheral CT units described herein have established feasible standardized protocols that users have adopted globally, there remain challenges in standardizing MRI protocols for bone and muscle imaging.
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