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Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry of the calcaneus: Comparison with vertebral dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and quantitative computed tomography

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of using bone mineral measurements of the calcaneus to evaluate osteoporosis. Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) of the calcaneus was compared with posteroanterior lumbar absorptiometry (DXA) and vertebral quantitative computed tomography (QCT) measurements in 171 white women (78 normal and 93 osteoporotic). DXA measurement of os calcis mineralization decreased significantly in osteoporosis, but to a lesser extent than in vertebral sites. In normal subjects, good correlations were observed between calcaneal and lumbar DXA (0.69) and QCT (0.56). In subjects with vertebral fractures, there was also good correlation between calcaneal DXA and QCT (0.59–0.69). This suggests that trabecular bone in calcaneus and vertebrae have related involution in cases of vertebral osteoporosis. However, the extent of bone loss is less marked in the calcaneus than in the vertebrae and is not sufficient to be accurately measured over time. We conclude, therefore, that although the global densitometric measurement at this site is not sufficiently sensitive for general use, it can be useful as a epidemiological research tool.

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Laval-Jeantet, A.M., Bergot, C., Williams, M. et al. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry of the calcaneus: Comparison with vertebral dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and quantitative computed tomography. Calcif Tissue Int 56, 14–18 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00298738

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00298738

Key words

  • Calcaneus
  • Bone mineral content
  • DXA
  • QCT
  • Osteoporosis