Static histomorphometry involves the identification of cellular and tissue components for the measurement of lengths (mm), areas (mm2) or cell counts (#/mm or #/mm2). Dynamic histomorphometry, in contrast, makes use of fluorochromes, such as tetracycline, that are incorporated into bone at the front of calcification. These labeled sites will fluoresce and can be viewed with UV microscopy. When fluorochromes are administered over a time interval, the rates of formation and mineralization can be calculated from measurements of tissue growth between the labels. These measurements in tissue of animal models can give information about cellular response, help determine the effectiveness of pharmaceutical agents, and characterize toxicological effects, research that will enhance the diagnosis and treatment of skeletal pathologies.
In addition, the bone histomorphometry lab has generated a unique, histomorphometry database for human iliac crest biopsies.Specimens were obtained from recruited females and males with healthy bone metabolism. Forty-six biopsies from females and forty-five biopsies from males were prepared and quantified by the lab. Consequently, the lab can provide a gender-specific "normal" reference values and Z-scores for any human bone biopsy of the iliac crest that is processed and quantified by the Mayo Bone Histomorphometry Lab itself. A Z score is an index that compares the value measured in a "test" biopsy in terms of the number of standard deviations away from a "normal" mean value.