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Bone. 2007 Jun;40(6):1650-4. Epub 2007 Mar 21.

Phalangeal osteosonogrammetry age-related changes and assessment of a Lebanese reference population.

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Saint George Hospital-Balamand University-Faculty of Medicine, Orthopaedic, Ashrafieh, Beirut, Lebanon.


This study was aimed to assess age changes in quantitative ultrasonometry (QUS) of the phalanx in a sample of Lebanese women to determine a reference data for the Lebanese population. Velocity of ultrasound (amplitude-dependent speed of sound; AD-SOS) and the interpretation of the ultra sound signal (ultrasound bone profile index; UBPI) were measured in 211 women with a mean age of 50 years (range 20-79 years) using a DBM sonic Bone profiler device. Women were randomly selected and asked to participate in a nation-wide screening program. Age is an important factor affecting the two parameters: the AD-SOS declines from 2200 m/s at 20 years to 1700 at 80 years. The climacteric condition is another important factor, with significant decrease of the two parameters after the menopause (P<0.0001). This effect is highly influenced by the duration of the postmenopausal period. No influence of weight or height was observed in UBPI variability. The AD-SOS values are similar to those of European population before the age of 50 years. After this age, a significant difference is noted between the two populations. Phalangeal QUS curve of AD-SOS and UBPI are age-dependent. The Lebanese reference curve for AD-SOS is significantly lower from the European curve after the menopause; a 2% decrease in AD-SOS after the age of 50 years can be observed. This decrease in AD-SOS reference values is relevant in the classification of osteoporotic subjects; in fact, if we had used the European reference data set, we had generated 10.9% more Lebanese patients being osteoporotic. Therefore, the use of our standardized reference data reduces the risk of overestimating osteoporosis in the Lebanese population.

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