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Br J Radiol. 1997 Jun;70(834):580-5.

Male and female normative data for ultrasound measurement of the calcaneus within the UK adult population.

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  • 1Centre for Metabolic Bone Disease, Royal Hull Hospitals Trust, UK.


The establishment of accurate normative data for specific populations is required before ultrasound bone densitometry may be considered for routine clinical application. A single general practice was utilized, representing both rural and urban populations, to recruit 169 male and 210 female subjects in the age range 20-80 years. Measurements of broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA) and velocity (VOS) of the left calcaneus were undertaken using the McCue CUBAClinical II system. Two descriptive statistical models were used, mean and 95th percentile, and regression analysis. The female data for both BUA and VOS illustrated peak values in the 30-39 years age group, falling steadily thereafter. For male BUA and VOS data there was less evidence of an age related dependence. Upon analysis of previous normative studies and current data it is evident that there is considerable variability. In addition to different commercial systems being utilized, there is a lack of consistency in study design and method of subject recruitment. The need for accurate calibration and cross-calibration methods for commercial ultrasound bone densitometers is therefore of paramount importance to enable clinical interpretation of ultrasound measurements to be performed.

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