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J Bone Miner Res. 2004 Aug;19(8):1276-9. Epub 2004 Apr 5.

Quantitative ultrasound assessment in children with fractures.

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Department of Pediatric Surgery, University of Graz Medical School, Graz, Austria.


BMD of children with fractures was compared with healthy controls using QUS. We found significantly lower SOS values in children suffering from fractures. None of the studied environmental factors could explain the difference in BMD measurements.


The aims of this study were to compare the results of quantitative ultrasound (QUS) in children with fractures with the respective values in children without fractures and to identify possible environmental factors influencing speed of sound (SOS) in our study cohort.


BMD was measured by QUS in 50 children who had sustained an acute fracture and in 154 healthy children as controls. SOS values were obtained from the proximal phalanges of the last four fingers of the dominant hand. Nutritional habits and activity level of the children were documented by a standardized questionnaire.


Children with fractures had a significantly lower SOS compared with children without a history of fractures. This difference in SOS could not be explained by differences in diet, body mass index, or physical activity.


Previous studies have suggested that low BMD levels might contribute to an increased prevalence of fractures in patients with systemic diseases. Our study showed that, in an otherwise healthy pediatric population, the SOS values are lower in children with fractures compared with healthy controls. Despite statistical significance, the biological impact of the results remains unclear. The difference in SOS values could not be explained by any of the studied environmental factors.

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