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Department of Mathematical Sciences; Department of Applied Computing


Background: Hip fracture occurs when an applied force exceeds the force that the proximal femur can support (the fracture load or “strength”) and can have devastating consequences with poor functional outcomes. Proximal femoral strengths for specific loading conditions can be computed by subject-specific finite element analysis (FEA) using quantitative computerized tomography (QCT) images. However, the radiation and availability of QCT limit its clinical usability. Alternative low-dose and widely available measurements, such as dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and genetic factors, would be preferable for bone strength assessment. The aim of this paper is to design a deep learning-based model to predict proximal femoral strength using multi-view information fusion. Results: We developed new models using multi-view variational autoencoder (MVAE) for feature representation learning and a product of expert (PoE) model for multi-view information fusion. We applied the proposed models to an in-house Louisiana Osteoporosis Study (LOS) cohort with 931 male subjects, including 345 African Americans and 586 Caucasians. We performed genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to select 256 genetic variants with the lowest p-values for each proximal femoral strength and integrated whole genome sequence (WGS) features and DXA-derived imaging features to predict proximal femoral strength. The best prediction model for fall fracture load was acquired by integrating WGS features and DXA-derived imaging features. The designed models achieved the mean absolute percentage error of 18.04%, 6.84% and 7.95% for predicting proximal femoral fracture loads using linear models of fall loading, nonlinear models of fall loading, and nonlinear models of stance loading, respectively. Conclusion: The proposed models are capable of predicting proximal femoral strength using WGS features and DXA-derived imaging features. Though this tool is not a substitute for predicting FEA using QCT images, it would make improved assessment of hip fracture risk more widely available while avoiding the increased radiation exposure from QCT.

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© 2023 Zhao, Keyak, Cao, Sha, Wu, Luo, Zhao, Tian, Serou, Qiu, Su, Shen, Deng and Zhou. Publisher’s version of record:

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Frontiers in Endocrinology

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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