Clinical usefulness of a bone mineral measurement method on the femoral shaft
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An improved version of a previously described photon absorptiometry method for measuring the bone mineral content of the femoral shaft is presented. The study included 267 healthy persons, who served as control subjects, and 31 osteoporotic and 3 osteomalacic female patients. A monoenergetic source of241Am was used and a fully automatic apparatus designed. The examinations were recorded with an independent microcomputer and secondarily processed by the nuclear unit central computer. The guidelines of Cameron and West were used to perform various calculations from the initial absorption curve, and the clinical usefulness of these was tested. On the one hand, cortical bone density (CBD) and bone linear attenuation coefficient (BLAC) were found adequately to differentiate between osteoporotics and controls, but we defined a discriminative function (F) which allowed even better separation between the two groups. On the other hand, bone index (BI) was found to be the best parameter to follow an individual patient during therapy. These results underline the usefulness of these calculations for detecting and monitoring the progress of pathological states.
Key wordsPhoton absorptiometry Cortical bone density Bone index Osteoporosis
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