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J Acoust Soc Am. 2012 Feb;131(2):1605-12. doi: 10.1121/1.3672701.

Relationships of quantitative ultrasound parameters with cancellous bone microstructure in human calcaneus in vitro.

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U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, 10903 New Hampshire Boulevard, Silver Spring, Maryland 20993, USA.


Ultrasound parameters (attenuation, phase velocity, and backscatter), bone mineral density (BMD), and microarchitectural features were measured on 29 human cancellous calcaneus samples in vitro. Regression analysis was performed to predict ultrasound parameters from BMD and microarchitectural features. The best univariate predictors of the ultrasound parameters were the indexes of bone quantity: BMD and bone volume fraction (BV/TV). The most predictive univariate models for attenuation, phase velocity, and backscatter coefficient yielded adjusted squared correlation coefficients of 0.69-0.73. Multiple regression models yielded adjusted correlation coefficients of 0.74-0.83. Therefore attenuation, phase velocity, and backscatter are primarily determined by bone quantity, but multiple regression models based on bone quantity plus microarchitectural features achieve slightly better predictive performance than models based on bone quantity alone.

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