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Pediatr Res. 1988 Dec;24(6):693-5.

Bone mineral content reflects total body calcium in neonatal miniature piglets.

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  • 1USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center, Houston, Texas 77030.


We measured bone mineral content (BMC) in 18 neonatal miniature piglets by single photon absorptiometry, total body calcium (TBC) by total body neutron activation analysis, growth, and serum indices of mineral status (calcium, phosphorus, alkaline phosphatase activity). Measurements were begun on day 6, when the piglets were weaned, and were continued to day 19. After weaning, the piglets were assigned randomly to receive one of three diets which differed only in their concentrations of calcium and phosphorus: 100% of the recommended level (diet A), 60% (diet B), and 20% (diet C). No differences were observed among groups during the 19-day study, either in weight gain (48 +/- 2 g/day) or increment in crown-rump length (2.4 +/- 0.2 cm/wk). BMC correlated significantly (p less than 0.001) with TBC at 6 (r = 0.83), 13 (r = 0.77), and 19 (r = 0.93) days. BMC correlated significantly (p less than 0.001) with the ash weight (r = 0.87) and calcium content (r = 0.90) of the corresponding tibial bone segment. Anthropometric parameters and serum indices of mineral status did not predict TBC as accurately as did BMC measurements. We observed a range in BMC measurements in this study that was similar to the range reported for infants in the 1st yr of life. The high correlation between BMC and TBC suggested that BMC is useful in the assessment of mineral status in infants.

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