Trabecular bone has fractal properties related to the organization of trabeculae, which allows the evaluation of changes in bone structure through fractal analysis (FA). FA can be expressed by the fractal dimension (FD), a powerful descriptor of texture in two and three-dimensional images, and by lacunarity, which provides information about image heterogeneity. This research project aims to evaluate the application of FD and lacunarity as methods for quantifying differences in trabecular bone texture of the proximal portion of the proximal phalanx in horses with and without metacarpophalangeal osteoarthritis. Fifty radiographs of the metacarpophalangeal joint of horses treated at the HOVET of FMVZ/USP will be selected, which will be analyzed for the presence or absence of osteoarthritis, and this will be graded in mild, moderate or severe according to predefined scores. As a control group, radiographs of 16 healthy horses will be used. From the dorsopalmar projection, regions of interest will be defined in the proximal epiphysis of the proximal phalanx, selected on the trabecular bone, distal to the subchondral region, medial and lateral to the sagittal sulcus. The FD will be measured by the box counting method. The ratio between the bone area and the total area (BA/TA), and lacunarity will be measured, using the BoneJ and FracLac extensions of the Fiji software. Subgroups will be formed according to age, sex and race. The data from this project will be useful in identifying the feasibility of using fractal analysis as a methodology in future research that seeks to analyze the texture of the trabecular bone of horses, through radiographs.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: