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J Clin Densitom. 2001 Winter;4(4):313-23.

Predictors of bone mass by peripheral quantitative computed tomography in early adolescent girls.

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Center for Pediatric Nutrition Research, Room 2A100, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, USA.


This cross-sectional study used peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) to evaluate the influences of age, body size, puberty, calcium intake, and physical activity on bone acquisition in healthy early adolescent girls. The pQCT technique provides analyses of volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD) (mg/cm(3)) for total as well as cortical and trabecular bone compartments and bone strength expressed as polar strength strain index (mm(2)). Bone mass of the nondominant distal and midshaft tibia by pQCT and lumbar spine and hip by dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) were measured in 84 girls ages 11-14 yr. Pubertal stage, menarche status, anthropometrics, and 3-d food intake and physical activity records were collected. Total and cortical bone mineral content and vBMD measurements by pQCT were significantly related to lumbar spine and femoral neck BMD measurements by DXA. We did not note any significant determinants or predictors for trabecular bone mass. Body weight was the most important predictor and determinant of total and cortical bone density and strength in healthy adolescent girls. Menarche, calcium intake, height, body mass index, and weight-bearing physical activity level age were also identified as minor but significant predictors and determinants of bone density and strength. Bone measurements by the pQCT technique provide information on bone acquisition, architecture, and strength during rapid periods of growth and development. Broader cross-sectional studies using the pQCT technique to evaluate the influence of age, gender, ethnicity, puberty, body size, and lifestyle factors on bone acquisition and strength are needed.

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