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J Nucl Med. 1987 Jun;28(6):960-5.

Usefulness of regional bone measurements in patients with osteoporotic fractures of the spine and distal forearm.


Bone mineral mass was measured in normal subjects and osteoporotic patients at two forearm sites (proximal and distal of the 8 mm site between the two forearm bones) by single photon absorptiometry and in the spine and whole body by dual photon absorptiometry. There were no signs of preferential low spinal bone mass in 28 patients with vertebral fractures. Their bone mass was at all sites 26% to 37% lower than the premenopausal mean value and 7% to 13% lower than in age-matched normal women. In 45 patients with forearm fractures bone reduction was also universal but only 3% to 6% lower than in healthy women of comparable age. The spinal bone mass in all the patients was significantly related to both forearm measurements with coefficients of correlation of 0.58-0.61 and s.e.e. of 18%. Compared to the premenopausal normal range the distal forearm site had a greater sensitivity in identifying patients with vertebral fractures than had the spinal measurement (chi-square test, p less than 0.01). We thus conclude that patients with vertebral fractures have universal osteoporosis and that measurement of spinal BMC had no predictive advantages over that of the forearm bone mass for population studies.

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