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Bone., 2000; 27(2): 319-26, PMID: 10913929

Bone-muscle strength indices for the human lower leg

Jahr: 2000

Rittweger J, Beller G, Ehrig J, Jung C, Koch U, Ramolla J, Schmidt F, Newitt D, Majumdar S, Schiessl H, Felsenberg D
Institute of Physiology, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


This cross-sectional study is based on images from the lower leg as assessed by peripheral quantitative computer tomography (pQCT). Measurements were performed in 39 female and 38 male control subjects and 15 female professional volleyball players, all between 18 and 30 years of age. The images were obtained at shank levels of 4%, 14%, 33%, and 66% from the distal end. Bone and muscle cross-sectional areas, and the bones" density-weighted area moment of resistance and of inertia were assessed. From these, muscle-bone strength indices (MBSIs) were developed for compression (CI = 100. bone area/muscle area) and bending (BI = 100. bone area moment of resistance/muscle area/tibia length). Significant correlations between muscle cross-sectional area and bone were found at all section levels investigated. The strongest correlation for compression was observed in the sections at 14% (correlation coefficient r = 0.74), where 4.10 +/- 0.46 cm(2) bone, on average, was related to 100 cm(2) muscle. The compression index (CI) at the 14% level was independent of the tibia length. Interestingly, the 15 athletes had significantly greater CIs than the control subjects. This is most probably due to the greater tension development in the athletes. The highest correlation for bending was for anteroposterior bending at 33% of tibia length (r = 0.81), where the area moment of resistance, R, was on, average, 4.21 +/- 0.54 cm(3)/100 cm(2) muscle/m tibia length. Analysis of the bones" area moment of inertia showed that buckling is a possible cause of bending at the 33% and 66% levels, but not at the 14% level. No gender differences in MBSI were found. Likewise, age was without significant effect. The data show that bone architecture depends critically on muscle cross section and tension development. Moreover, bone geometry (e.g., the tibia length) influences the geometrical distribution of bone mineral, as it was found that long bones adapted to the same compressive strength are wider than short ones. We conclude that MBSIs offer a powerful diagnostic tool for bone disorders and may contribute to improving the treatment of bone metabolic and other diseases.

GID: 1035; Letzte Änderung: 29.01.2008