Measurements of broadband ultrasonic attenuation in the calcaneus in premenopausal and postmenopausal women

R J Herd, T Ramalingham, P J Ryan, I Fogelman, G M Blake

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61 Citations (Scopus)


We report a study of broadband ultrasonic attenuation (BUA) in the calcaneus in 248 women. Measurements were performed with a Walker-Sonix UBA-575 ultrasonic bone analyser. The populations studied were 15 healthy young volunteers (group 1, mean age 26 years), 200 healthy pre- and postmenopausal women (group 2, mean age 53 years) and 33 osteoporotic women with vertebral crush fractures (group 3, mean age 66 years). Subjects in group 1 each had 10 repeated measurements of their right heel. Duplicate BUA measurements in the right heel were performed in 96 subjects and bilateral scans in a further 87 women in group 2. The remaining 17 subjects in group 2 and those in group 3 had a single scan of the right heel. All women in groups 2 and 3 had dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans of the lumbar spine and femoral neck. The precision study on the women in group 1 gave a root mean square (RMS) coefficient of variation (CV) of 4.2%. Individual CV results showed statistically significant differences (range 1.3%-7.6%). Duplicate scans in subjects in group 2 gave a RMS CV of 4.6% while the bilateral measurements showed no significant difference between the two heels. Linear regression analysis gave the following relationship between BUA and age: BUA = 87.1 - 0.76 (Age - 40) dB/MHz (r = -0.31, p less than 0.001, SEE = 14.0 dB/MHz). Multivariate regression analysis showed that, in addition to age, years since the menopause was also a significant factor in predicting BUA.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-51
Number of pages5
JournalOsteoporosis International
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1992


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