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J Clin Densitom., 2009; 12(1): 42-53, PMID: 19084448

Distal Radius Strength: A Comparison of DXA-Derived vs pQCT-Measured Parameters in Adolescent Females

Year: 2009

Dowthwaite JN, Hickman RM, Kanaley JA, Ploutz-Snyder RJ, Spadaro JA, Scerpella TA
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, USA.


Although quantitative computed tomography (QCT) is considered the gold standard for in vivo densitometry, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans assess larger bone regions and are more appropriate for pediatric longitudinal studies. Unfortunately, DXA does not yield specific bone architectural output. To address this issue in healthy, postmenarcheal girls, Sievänen"s distal radius formulae [1996] were applied to derive indices of bone geometry, volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD), and strength from DXA data; results were compared to peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) output. Contemporaneous scans were performed on the left, distal radii of 35 gymnasts, ex-gymnasts, and nongymnasts (aged 13.3-20.4yr, mean 16.6yr). For 4% and 33% regions, pQCT measured cross-sectional areas (CSAs) and vBMD; comparable DXA indices were generated at ultradistal and 1/3 regions. Index of structural strength in axial compression was calculated from 4% pQCT and DXA output for comparison; 33% pQCT strength-strain index was compared to 1/3 DXA section modulus. Sievänen DXA indices were significantly, positively correlated with pQCT output (R=+0.61 to +0.98; p<0.0001). At the distal radius, in healthy postmenarcheal girls, Sievänen"s method yielded potentially useful DXA indices of diaphyseal cortical CSA and bone strength at both the diaphysis (section modulus) and the metaphysis (index of structural strength in axial compression).

GID: 1732; Last update: 12.03.2009