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Bone. 2013 May;54(1):118-25. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2013.01.045. Epub 2013 Feb 4.

Composition and microarchitecture of human trabecular bone change with age and differ between anatomical locations.

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Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, POB 1627, FIN-70211 Kuopio, Finland.


The microarchitecture of trabecular bone adapts to its mechanical loading environment according to Wolff's law and alters with age. Trabecular bone is a metabolically active tissue, thus, its molecular composition and microarchitecture may vary between anatomical locations as a result of the local mechanical loading environment. No comprehensive comparison of composition and microarchitecture of trabecular bone in different anatomical locations has been conducted. Therefore, the objective of this study was to compare the molecular composition and microarchitecture, evaluated with Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) microspectroscopy and micro-computed tomography (μCT), respectively, in the femoral neck, greater trochanter and calcaneus of human cadavers. Specimens were harvested from 20 male human cadavers (aged 17-82 years) with no known metabolic bone diseases. Significant differences were found in composition and microarchitecture of trabecular bone between the anatomical locations. Compositional differences were primarily observed between the calcaneus and the proximal femur sites. Mineralization was higher in the greater trochanter than in the calcaneus (+2%, p<0.05) and crystallinity was lowest in the calcaneus (-24%, p<0.05 as compared to the femoral neck). Variation in the composition of trabecular bone within different parts of the proximal femur was only minor. Collagen maturity was significantly lower in greater trochanter than in femoral neck (-8%, p<0.01) and calcaneus (-5%, p<0.05). The greater trochanter possessed a less dense trabecular bone microarchitecture compared to femoral neck or calcaneus. Age related changes were mainly found in the greater trochanter. Significant correlations were found between the composition and microarchitecture of trabecular bone in the greater trochanter and calcaneus, indicating that both composition and microarchitecture alter similarly. This study provides new information about composition and microarchitecture of trabecular bone in different anatomical locations and their alterations with age with respect to the anatomical loading environments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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