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A statistical human rib cage geometry model accounting for variations by age, sex, stature and body mass index 

In: Journal of Biomechanics Volume 47, Issue 10, 18 July 2014, Pages 2277–2285

Authors: Xiangnan Shi, Libo Cao, Matthew P. Reed, Jonathan D. Rupp, Carrie N. Hoff, Jingwen Hu

In this study, we developed a statistical rib cage geometry model accounting for variations by age, sex, stature and body mass index (BMI). Thorax CT scans were obtained from 89 subjects approximately evenly distributed among 8 age groups and both sexes. Threshold-based CT image segmentation was performed to extract the rib geometries, and a total of 464 landmarks on the left side of each subject?s ribcage were collected to describe the size and shape of the rib cage as well as the cross-sectional geometry of each rib. Principal component analysis and multivariate regression analysis were conducted to predict rib cage geometry as a function of age, sex, stature, and BMI, all of which showed strong effects on rib cage geometry. Except for BMI, all parameters also showed significant effects on rib cross-sectional area using a linear mixed model. This statistical rib cage geometry model can serve as a geometric basis for developing a parametric human thorax finite element model for quantifying effects from different human attributes on thoracic injury risks. 

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