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Bone., 2005; 36(4): 688-93, PMID: 15780965

Bone structure and volumetric density in young adults born prematurely: a peripheral quantitative computed tomography study

Jahr: 2005

Backström MC, Kuusela AL, Koivisto AM, Sievänen H
Department of Paediatrics, Vasa Central Hospital, Finland.


Prematurity is known to be associated with reduced bone mineral density (BMD) in childhood, but whether this condition has long-term detrimental consequences on adult bone structure is not known. In this study, we measured with peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) the total bone cross-sectional area, cortical area and wall thickness, cortical and trabecular density, and a density-weighed polar section modulus as a bone strength index (BSI) at distal and shaft sites of right radius and tibia in a group of 40 prematurely born, otherwise normally developed and healthy young adults (17 women and 23 men, aged 18 to 27 years) and compared their data to corresponding data obtained from a group of 42 control subjects born term (20 women and 22 men, aged 18 to 28 years). Body height and weight were similar in both groups, but the preterm group had significantly lower BSI values at distal sites of tibia (approximately -16%) and radius (approximately -13%) and at tibial shaft (approximately -11%) as compared to control group. In the weight-bearing tibia, BMC was lower and the lower BSI values were mainly due to smaller total bone cross-sectional area. For unknown reason, this prematurity-associated detrimental effect seemed to concern more men than women. In contrast, prematurity was not associated with volumetric trabecular and cortical densities at any measured bone site while the typical sex differences in bone density were observed. We conclude that prematurity is associated with somewhat smaller cross-sectional bone dimensions in terms of body size in young adulthood. Due to the cross-sectional design, this study could not reveal specific reasons but they may pertain to nutrition during the neonatal period and living habits in general.

GID: 1174; Letzte Änderung: 03.03.2008