A comparison of methods for measuring cortical bone thickness



Repeated measures of periosteal and endosteal widths of the left second metacarpal from two samples of radiographs were made independently with either a dial caliper or an electronic digitizer connected to a microcomputer. In addition, periosteal and endosteal bone widths of a common sample of radiographs were measured with dial calipers and the electronic digitizer. Dial calipers and an electronic digitizer are both very reliable, but intraobserver errors produced with the use of the digitizer are significantly less than those produced with the use of dial calipers. However, measurements made with the electronic digitizer are systematically larger than corresponding widths measured with dial calipers, but this difference is very small.