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Paul Commean

Paul Commean


Office: East Building 3361
Tel: (314)362-8497
Fax: (314)362-6971



B.E.E., Electrical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta - 1982


Paul K. Commean received is BEE from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1982. He worked for McDonnell Douglas in St. Louis, MO for approximately 3.5 years as a digital hardware designer of new test equipment and as a systems engineer. He moved to a small research and development company, Cencit, Inc., located in St. Louis, MO as a systems engineer. Cencit was developing a new method for scanning the human head in 3/4 of a second using ordinary white light. Cencit was owned in part by CPI Corporation and their objective was to create and mass market three dimensional portrait sculptures of individuals who would visit their Sculptronix studios in Sears stores. Cencit closed down in 1991, and he moved to the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University, in St. Louis, MO, in 1992 as a research engineer.

Research Interests

Paul K. Commean's long term goal is to develop new, rapid and innovative methods for measuring the bone mineral density (BMD) in the human body. To achieve this goal, he is investigating new methods of using clinical computed tomography (CT) scanners for acquiring volumetric quantitative computed tomography (VQCT) images, and developing methods for measuring reliably the entire bone volume for the seven tarsal and five metatarsal bones in the foot. He is also interested in developing methods for measuring the BMD of other bones in the body. He is working with collaborator in the Program in Physical Theraphy to submit NIH grants and to measure the BMD in subjects with diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, and neuropathic Charcot arthropathy. He is also working on developing a new biomarker for measuring the progression of Charcot arthropathy using VQCT methods and measuring their foot BMDs.

Other areas where Paul K. Commean has research interest are: (1) prosthetic design and lower limb amputation measurement using CT and MR imaging techniques; (2) measuring soft tissue thickness and angles of bones in the feet of subjects with diabetics, peripheral neuropathy and a history of ulcers; (3) acquiring CT data, developing new methods, and measuring the feet of subjects with diabetes and peripheral neuropathy who have Neuropathic Charcot Arthropathy; (4) developing new methods and measuring the kidney and cyst volumes of subjects with polycystic kidney disease; (5) developing new methods and measuring the fat and muscle content (volume) from MR images in the lower extremities; (6) writing dynamic web-based java servlet and PERL software programs that interface with the Postgresql database to allow automatic checkin of MR DICOM data from multiple clinical sites; and (7) writing dynamic java servlet software to display database entries and creation of forms to allow data entry.


  1. Vannier MW, Pilgrim T, Bhatia G, Brunsden B, Commean PK,  Facial surface scanner,  IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications,  Vol. 11 No. 6 pp. 72-80, Nov. 1991.
  2. Commean PK, Smith KE, Bhatia G, Vannier MW,  Geometric design of a multisensor structured light range digitizer, SPIE Optical Engineering, Vol. 33 No. 4, 1349-1358, Apr. 1994.
  3. Bhatia G, Vannier MW, Smith KE, Commean PK, Riolo J, Young LV,  Quantification of facial surface change using a structured light scanner,  Annals of Plastic Surgery: Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Vol. 94, No. 6, pp. 768-774, Nov. 1994.
  4. Kohn LAP, Cheverud JM, Bhatia G, Commean PK, Smith KE, Vannier MW,  Anthropometric optical surface imaging system repeatability, precision, and validation,  Annals of Plastic Surgery, Vol. 34, pp 362-371, 1995.
  5. Smith KE, Vannier MW, Commean PK,  Spiral CT volumetry of below knee residua, IEEE Transactions on Rehabilitation Engineering, Vol. 3, No. 3, pp 235-241, Sept., 1995.
  6. Smith KE, Commean PK, Bhatia G, Vannier MW,  Validation of spiral CT and optical surface scanning for use lower limb remnant volumetry,  Prosthetics and Orthotics International, Vol. 19, No. 2, pp 97-107, Aug., 1995.
  7. Commean PK, Smith KE, Cheverud JM, Vannier MW,  Precision of surface measurements for below-knee residua.  Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vol. 77, No. 5, pp 477-486, May, 1996.
  8. Commean PK, Smith KE, Vannier MW,  Design of a 3D surface scanner for lower limb prosthetics,  Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, Vol. 33, No. 3, pp 267-278, 1996.
  9. Smith KE, Commean PK, Vannier MW,  Residual limb shape change:  Three-dimensional CT scan measurement and depiction in vivo, Radiology, Vol. 200, No. 3, pp 843-50, Sept., 1996.
  10. Commean PK, Smith KE, Vannier MW, Szabo B, Actis R,  Finite element modeling and experimental verification of lower extremity shape change under load,  Journal of Biomechanics, Vol. 30, No. 5, pp 531-536, 1997.
  11. Vannier MW, Commean PK, Smith KE, 3D Lower-Extremity Residua Measurement Systems Error Analysis, Journal of Prosthetics and Othotics, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 67-76, Spring, 1997.
  12. Commean PK, Smith KE, Vannier MW,  Lower Extremity Residual Limb Slippage Within The In Situ Prosthesis, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vol. 78, No. 5, pp 476-485, 1997.
  13. Vannier MW, Commean PK, Brunsden BS, Smith KE,  Visualization of socket fit in lower limb amputees by volumetric CT scanning, IEEE Computer Graphics and Engineering, Vol. 17, No. 5, pp. 16-29, 1997.
  14. Commean PK, Brunsden BS, Smith KE, Vannier MW,  Below Knee Residual Limb Shape Change Measurement and Visualization,  Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vol. 79, pp. 772-782, 1998.
  15. Mueller MJ, Smith KE, Commean PK, Robertson DD, Johnson JE, Use of spiral computed tomography and plantar pressures for management of neuropathic ulcers in patients with diabetes, Physical Therapy, pp 296-307, Vol. 79, No. 3, March 1999.
  16. Stout, SD, Brunsden, BS, Hildebolt, CF, Commean, PK, Smith, KE, Tappen, NC, Computer-Assisted 3D Reconstruction of Serial Sections of Cortical Bone to Determine the 3D Structure of Osteons, Calcified Tissue International, Vol. 65, pp. 280-284, 1999.
  17. Bae KT, Commean PK, Lee J, Volumetric Measure of Renal Cysts and Parenchyma Using MRI:  Phantoms and Patients with Polycystic Kidney Disease, Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography;  24(4), 614-619, 2000.
  18. Smith KE, Commean PK, Mueller MJ, Robertson DD, Pilgram T, Johnson J,  Assessment of the diabetic foot using spiral computed tomography imaging and plantar pressure measurements: A technical note, Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development. 37(1): 31-40, 2000.
  19. Madsen, MT, Haller, J, Commean PK, Vannier, MW.  A device for applying static loads to prosthetic limbs of transtibial amputees during CT examinations, Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development.  Vol. 37 No 4, July/Aug 2000.
  20. Vannier MW, Commean PK, Smith KE,  Mapping of residual limb changes by spiral/helical computed  tomography, Computer Assisted Radiology (CAR) 1996, Paris, France 26-29 June, 1996, pp 841-846.
  21. Smith KE, Commean PK, Mueller MJ, Robertson DD, Pilgram T, Johnson J,  Assessment of the diabetic foot using spiral computed tomography imaging and plantar pressure measurements: A technical note, Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development; 37(1):31-40, 2000.
  22. Klaesner J, Commean PK, Hastings M, Zou D, Mueller MJ.  Accuracy and Reliability Testing of a Portable Soft Tissue Indentor,  IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 232-240, 2001.
  23. Smith KE, Commean PK, Robertson DD,  Pilgram T, Mueller MJ.   Precision and accuracy of computed tomography foot measurements.  Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2001;82:925-9.
  24. Commean PK, Mueller JM, Smith KE, Hastings M, Klaesner J, Pilgram TK, Robertson DD, “Reliability and Validity of Combined Imaging and Pressures Assessment Methods for Diabetic Feet”, Arch Phys Med Rehabil, Vol. 83, pp. 497-505, April 2002.
  25. Robertson DD, Mueller MJ, Smith KE, Commean PK, Pilgram T, Johnson J.  Forefoot structural change in individuals with diabetes and prior plantar ulcer.  Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, American edition, Vol. 84-A, No. 8, pp 1395-1404, August 2002.
  26. Mueller MJ, Hastings M, Commean PK, Smith KE, Klaesner J, Pilgram T, Robertson DD, Johnson J, “Forefoot structural predictors of plantar pressures during walking in people with diabetes and peripheral neurophathy”, Journal of Biomechanics, vol. 36, no. 7, pp. 1009-1017 July 2003.
  27. Hastings M, Commean PK, Smith KE, Pilgram T, Mueller MJ, “Aligning anatomical structure from spiral x-ray computed tomography with plantar pressure data”,  Clinical Biomechanics, vol. 18, no. 9, pp 877-882, November 2003.
  28. Engsberg JR, Lenke LL, Hollander ME, Uhrich MS, Commean PK, Lee JR, Bae KT, “Methods to Locate Center of Gravity in Scoliosis”, Spine vol 28, no 23, E483 – E489, May 2003.
  29. Mueller MJ, Lott DJ, Hasting MK, Commean P, Smith K, Pilgram T. Efficacy and mechanism of orthotic devices to unload metatarsals heads in people with diabetes and history of plantar ulcer. Physical Therapy, vol. 86, pp 833-842, 2006.
  30. Hastings M, Mueller MJ, Pilgram TK, Lott DJ, Commean PK, Johnson JE. Effect of metatarsal pad placement on plantar pressure in people with diabetes and peripheral neuropathy. Foot & Ankle International, vol 28, No. 1, pp 84-88, January 2007.
  31. Actis, RL, Ventura L, Smith K, Commean P, Lott D, MuellerMJ.  Numerical simulation of the plantar pressure distribution in the diabetic foot during the push-off stance.  Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing, vol 44 No. 8, pp 653-663. August 2006.
  32. Lott DJ, Hastings MK, Commean PK, Smith KE, Mueller MJ. Effect of footwear and orthotic devices on stress reduction and soft tissue strain of the neuropathic foot.  Clinical Biomechanics, Vol. 22 (3), March 2007, pp 352-359.
  33. Actis RL, Ventura LB, Lott DJ, Smith KE, Commean PK, Hastings MK, Mueller MJ. Multi-plug insole design to reduce peak plantar pressure on the diabetic foot during walking.  Medical and biological engineering and computing, Vol. 46(4), April 2008, pp 363-371.
  34. Hasting MK, Gelber JR, Commean PK, Prior FW, Sinacore DR.  Bone mineral density of the tarsals and metatarsals with reloading.  Physical Therapy, Vol 88(6), June 2008, pp 766-779.
  35. Olson JA Jr, Budd GT, Carey LA, Harris LA, Esserman LJ, Fleming GF, Marcom PK, Leight GS Jr,Giuntoli T, Commean PK, Bae KT, Luo J, Ellis MJ; Improved Surgical Outcomes for Breast Cancer Patients Receiving Neoadjuvant Aromatase Inhibitor Therapy: Results from a Multicenter Phase II Trial; J of the American College of Surgeons, Vol. 208(5), May 2009, pages 906-14.
  36. Commean PK, Ju T, Liu L, Sinacore DR, Hastings MK, Mueller MJ.  Tarsal and metatarsal bone mineral density measurement using volumetric quantitative computed tomography, Journal of Digital Imagine, Oct. 2009; 22(5):492-502.
  37. O.Y. Kwon, L.J. Tuttle, P.K. Commean and M.J. Mueller. Reliability and validity of measures of hammer toe deformity angle and tibial torsion, Foot, Sep 2009, 19(3):145-55.
  38. Commean PK, Kennedy JA, Bahow KA, Hildebolt CF, et al.  Volumetric quantitative computed tomography measurement precision for volumes and densities of tarsal and metatarsal bones.  J Clin Densitom 2011, Jul-Sep;14(3):313-20.
  39. Commean PK, Tuttle LJ, Hastings MK, Strube MJ, Mueller MJ.  Magnetic Resonance Imaging Measurement Reproducibility for Calf Muscle and Adipose Tissue Volume.  J Magn Reson Imaging, 2011 Dec;34(6):1285-94.
  40. Smith KE, Whiting BR, Reiker GG, Commean PK, Sinacore DR, Prior FW.  Assessment of technical and biological parameters of volumetric quantitative computed tomography of the foot: a phantom study. Osteoporos Int. 2012 July;23(7): 1977-85.
  41. Liu L, Commean PK, Hildebolt C, Sinacore D, Prior F, Carson JP, Kakadiaris I, and Ju T. 2012. Automated, Foot-Bone Registration Using Subdivision-Embedded Atlases for Spatial Mapping of Bone Mineral Density. J Digit Imaging. 2012 Oct: DOI 10.1007/s10278-012-9524-0.
  42. Gutekunst DJ, Patel TK, Smith KE, Commean PK, Silva MJ, Sinacore DR.  Predicting ex vivo failure loads in human metatarsals using bone strength indices derived from volumetric computed tomography.  J Biomechanics published online December 2012.
  43. Gutekunst DJ, Smith KE, Commean PK, Bohnert KL, Prior FW, Sinacore DR. Impact of Charcot neuroarthropathy on metatarsal bone mineral density and geometric strength indices. Bone 2013 January;52(1):407-13.
  44. Cheuy VA, Commean PK, Hastings MK, Mueller MJ. Reliability and Validity of a MR-Based Volumetric Analysis of the Intrinsic Foot Muscles. J Magn Reson Imaging. DOI: 10.1002/jmri.24069.
  45. Sadowsky CL, Hammond ER, Strohl AB, Commean PK, Eby SA, Damiano DL, Wingert JR, Bae KT, McDonald JW. Lower Extremity Functional Electrical Stimulation Cycling Promotes Physical & Functional Recovery in Chronic Spinal Cord Injury.  Accepted for publication in J of Spinal Cord Injury.