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J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact. 2011 Dec;11(4):306-13.

Contralateral comparison of bone geometry, BMD and muscle function in the lower leg and forearm after stroke.

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Rehabilitation Sciences Research Centre, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.



The aim of the study was to investigate the side-to-side differences of the upper and lower limbs in chronic stroke patients by means of peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT).


Twenty-three subjects (12 males and 11 females) who had previously suffered a stroke were recruited. Bone parameters and muscle cross-sectional areas were measured by pQCT in the forearm and the lower leg on the paretic and non-paretic side. Muscle function tests included hand grip dynamometry and sit-to-stand on force plates.


Relative side-to-side differences in bone parameters at the radius were twice to three times the relative differences at the tibia. At the forearm the muscle-bone relationship was stronger on the non-paretic than the paretic side, while at the lower leg the muscle-bone relationship was similar on both sides.


Side-to-side differences in bone parameters were much smaller than differences between individuals, and bone mass deficits on the paretic side were greater at the radius than at the tibia. Therapies to restore muscle force and function, which may also help to decrease the risk of falls, are recommended.

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