Quantitative bone histology in 84 normal American subjects

Micromorphometric analysis and evaluation of variance in iliac bone
  • Hartmut H. Malluche
  • Wolfgang Meyer
  • David Sherman
  • Shaul G. Massry
Clinical Investigations


Quantitative bone histology was done in undecalcified sections of iliac crest bone specimens obtained from 84 normal American individuals. Samples were obtained within 12 h after death in a vertical and horizontal manner from both the right and left iliac crests. In addition to the determination of normal values of micromorphometric parameters of bone in these healthy American subjects, the following studies were carried out: (a) comparison of variance of micromorphometric parameters of bone obtained from the right versus left iliac bone (40 pairs), (b) comparison of micromorphometric parameters of bone obtained in a vertical versus horizontal manner (12 pairs), (c) evaluation of variance with increasing distance from the compact zone in bone samples obtained in a vertical manner (44 pairs), (d) analysis of variation between bone samples obtained more anteriorly versus posteriorly along the iliac crest (N=40), (e) comparison of differences in micromorphometric parameters obtained from age-matched men versus premenopausal women (N=12), and (f) plotting of histograms for assessment of distribution of micromorphometric parameters. The results show that histomorphometric data of bone cannot be easily compared when different techniques are employed for obtaining bone samples. Sampling variations are kept smaller when bone specimens are obtained in a vertical manner. Anterior/posterior variation does not cause major sampling error. If ranges of variation are taken into account, quantitative bone histology is a valuable tool for assessment of bone structure and bone cells.

Key words

Bone Histomorphometry Normal values Bone biopsies Sampling error 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hartmut H. Malluche
    • 1
  • Wolfgang Meyer
    • 1
  • David Sherman
    • 1
  • Shaul G. Massry
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Nephrology and Department of MedicineUniversity of Southern California School of MedicineLos AngelesUSA

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