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Osteoporos Int. 2010 Mar;21(3):515-20. doi: 10.1007/s00198-009-0913-2. Epub 2009 Mar 26.

High-resolution peripheral QCT imaging of bone micro-structure in adolescents.

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  • 1Department of Orthopedics, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.



We examined the feasibility of high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT) to assess bone microstructure in adolescents. Low radiation doses and clear images were produced using a region of interest (ROI) at 8% of tibial length. Active growth plates were observed in 33 participants. HR-pQCT safely assessed important elements of bone microstructure in adolescents.


We examined the feasibility and safety of HR-pQCT to assess tibial bone microstructure in adolescents.


We used XtremeCT (Scanco Medical) to assess bone microstructure at the distal tibia in 278 participants (15-20 years old).


The 2.8-min scan resulted in a relatively low radiation dose (<3 microSv) while producing artifact clear images in all participants. An 8% scan site was equivalent to 33 +/- 2 mm of total tibial length (400 +/- 30 mm). We observed active growth plates in 33 participants. The growth plate was located at 13 +/- 2 mm of total tibial length and was not included in the ROI for any participant.


HR-pQCT safely assessed important elements of bone microstructure in adolescents. Given the important contribution of bone geometry and structure to bone strength, it is essential to better understand the development and adaptation of these parameters in cortical and trabecular bone compartments.

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