Journal of Clinical Densitometry;21(3)
Quantitative computed tomography (CT) can be used to quantify bone mineral density (BMD) in the spine from clinical CT scans. We aimed to determine agreement and precision of BMD measurements by 2 different methods: phantom-less internal tissue calibration and asynchronous phantom-based calibration in a cohort of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Patients with CKD were recruited for CT angiography of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis. BMD was analyzed by 2 different software solutions using different calibration techniques; phantom-based by QCT Pro (Mindways Inc.) and phantom-less by Extended Brilliance Workspace (Philips Healthcare). Intraoperator reanalysis was performed on 53 patients (36%) for both methods. An interoperator reanalysis on 30 patients (20%) using the phantom-based method and 29 patients (19%) using the phantom-less method was made. XY- and Bland-Altman plots were used to evaluate method agreement. Phantom-based measured BMD was systematically higher than phantom-less measured BMD. Despite a small absolute difference of 3.3 mg/cm3 (CI: -0.2–6.9 mg/cm3) and a relative difference of 5.1% (CI: 2.2%–8.1%), interindividual differences were large, as seen by a wide prediction interval (PI: -47–40 mg/cm3). The Bland-Altman plot showed no systematic bias, apart from 5 outliers. Intraoperator variability was high for the phantom-less method (5.8%) compared to the phantom-based (0.8%) and the interoperator variability was also high for the phantom-less method (5.8%) compared to the phantom-based (1.8%). Despite high correlation between methods, the between-method difference on an individual level showed great variability. Our results suggest agreement between these 2 methods is insufficient to allow them to be used interchangeably in patients with CKD.