The speed of sound (SOS) and the broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA), as determined by quantitative ultrasound at the calcaneum, were correlated with the bone mineral density (BMD) measurements using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry at the femoral neck and the lumbar spine in 110 females. There were moderate correlations of 0.629, 0.623 and 0.594 between the BMD at the anterior-posterior lumbar spine, lateral lumbar spine and femoral neck with the SOS at the calcaneum (all P <0.001). The corresponding correlations with BUA were 0.646, 0.643 and 0.628 respectively (all P <0.001). This suggests that quantitative ultrasound may be reasonably accurate and useful for the assessment of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is well documented to be a significant determinant of the risk of fracture and its assessment in vivo has been based on various methods for measuring bone mineral density (BMD). Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) has proven so far to be reasonably precise (about 1% to 2%) and accurate (about 5%).
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