A technique for quantifying wrist motion using four-dimensional computed tomography: Approach and validation

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27 Scopus citations


Accurate quantification of subtle wrist motion changes resulting from ligament injuries is crucial for diagnosis and prescription of the most effective interventions for preventing progression to osteoarthritis. Current imaging techniques are unable to detect injuries reliably and are static in nature, thereby capturing bone position information rather than motion which is indicative of ligament injury. A recently developed technique, 4D (three dimensions+time) computed tomography (CT) enables three-dimensional volume sequences to be obtained during wrist motion. The next step in successful clinical implementation of the tool is quantification and validation of imaging biomarkers obtained from the four-dimensional computed tomography (4DCT) image sequences. Measures of bone motion and joint proximities are obtained by: segmenting bone volumes in each frame of the dynamic sequence, registering their positions relative to a known static posture, and generating surface polygonal meshes from which minimum distance (proximity) measures can be quantified. Method accuracy was assessed during in vitro simulated wrist movement by comparing a fiducial bead-based determination of bone orientation to a bone-based approach. The reported errors for the 4DCT technique were: 0.00-0.68deg in rotation; 0.02-0.30mm in translation. Results are on the order of the reported accuracy of other image-based kinematic techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number074501
JournalJournal of Biomechanical Engineering
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • carpal kinematics
  • dynamic CT imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physiology (medical)


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