Technical note: An R program for automating bone cross section reconstruction

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many recent studies have used long bone cross-sectional geometric properties in various comparative analyses. Methods have been described for reconstructing diaphyseal cross sections from external molds and biplanar radiographs that produce accurate results (within 5% of true values on average). The manual image processing required, however, is both time and labor intensive. A new freely available program developed here for the computational freeware, R, automates much of the process. This study compares cross-sectional properties calculated using the new R program to those from peripheral quantitative CT (pQCT) and the original manual method. We find that the R program works as well as the original manual image processing for most cross sections eliminates the chance for entry errors at several steps and greatly speeds up data collection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)665-669
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of physical anthropology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Long bones
  • R statistical freeware
  • Section properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Anthropology


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