Quantitative Ultrasound at the Phalanges in Healthy Italian Men
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- Montagnani, A., Gonnelli, S., Cepollaro, C. et al. Osteoporos Int (2000) 11: 499. doi:10.1007/s001980070092
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In the last decade there has been a growing interest in quantitative ultrasound (QUS) techniques as a new method in the assessment of bone status in metabolic bone diseases. Many studies have shown that QUS parameters can predict vertebral and femoral fracture risk in patients with osteoporosis. However, most of the studies were performed in women, whereas few data are available for men. The aim of this study was to build up a normative database on a healthy Italian male population for QUS parameters at the phalanges. Amplitude-dependent speed of sound (AD-SoS) and three parameters (first wave amplitude, FWA; signal dynamic, SDy; time frame, TF) characterizing the graphic trace of the ultrasound signal were measured at the phalanges in 286 healthy subjects (age range 20–87 years). First, the QUS device was adapted to compensate for the difference in finger thickness between men and women. Preliminary data on 150 healthy subjects showed a significant difference between the traditional and adapted device, and the latter was independent of finger thickness variations. AD-SoS showed a significant (p<0.001) decrease with aging, expressed by a second-order polynomial equation. The peak value (2122 m/s) was observed in the fourth decade; thereafter it decreased to 1980 m/s at the ninth decade. Likewise, FWA and SDy were significantly (p<0.001) reduced after the fourth decade, whereas TF remained stable over time until the last decade. In conclusion, in men AD-SoS showed a negative trend with aging. The pattern with aging of parameters characterizing the graphic trace was different from the pattern for AD-SoS, suggesting the possibility of obtaining further information on phalanx bone physical properties which could be useful in the differential diagnosis of metabolic bone diseases and in the assessment of fracture risk.