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Calcif Tissue Int. 1988 Sep;43(3):138-42.

Ultrasound attenuation of the os calcis in women with osteoporosis and hip fractures.

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  • 1Department of Orthopedics, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester 01655.


Bone ultrasound attenuation of the calcaneus, and vertebral and femoral bone density measured by dual photon absorption were determined in 22 women with osteoporosis, 10 women with hip fractures, and 29 normal, age-matched controls to determine the utility of the ultrasound technique as an indicator of axial osteopenia. Vertebral and femoral neck density and bone ultrasound attenuation were significantly decreased (P less than 0.01) in the women with osteoporosis and those with hip fractures. The sensitivity and specificity of bone ultrasound attenuation was 80% at a value of 50 dB/MHz. At 90% specificity the sensitivity of bone ultrasound attenuation was 65%. The results of this pilot study suggest that ultrasound attenuation, a safe, simple, and radiation-free procedure, may be utilized as an indicator of decreased axial bone mass.

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