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22 décembre 2011 4 22 /12 /décembre /2011 22:13
Ultrasound bone measures linked to body composition, sex hormones

MedWire News : Quantitative ultrasound (QUS) bone parameters in elderly postmenopausal women are significantly associated with body composition, sex hormones, vitamin D levels, and bone turnover markers, research shows.

Each of these factors has a diverse association with QUS measurements taken at the calcaneus and phalanxes of the women studied, report Stefano Gonnelli (University of Siena, Italy) and colleagues in the journal Calcified Tissue International.

Overall, the effect of these variables on bone status was modest, they add.

Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is the gold standard for assessing bone mass, but there is a growing interest in using QUS as it is radiation-free, relatively cheap, and transportable.

More importantly, use of QUS might be helpful to assess not only bone density, but also elasticity, structure, and microarchitecture that are related to bone strength.

In this single-center study, Gonnelli and colleagues evaluated the association of body composition and sex hormones with QUS parameters at two skeletal sites: the phalanxes and calcaneus.

In 897 postmenopausal women, aged an average of 61 years, serum levels of endogenous estradiol (E2 ) were positively correlated with QUS at the calcaneus and phalanxes.

The "bone-preserving effect of endogenous E2 in postmenopausal women are in agreement with several studies which have found that total and bioavailable E2 were significantly correlated with BMD [bone mineral density]," comment Gonnelli and colleagues.

There was no association with serum testosterone levels and QUS parameters.

Body mass index (BMI) and fat mass were positively correlated with QUS measurements assessing bone stiffness, but negatively correlated with all other QUS measurements.

The associations between BMI and body composition measurements and QUS parameters differed at the calcaneus and phalanxes, however. At the calcaneus, fat mass and lean mass were both positively associated with bone stiffness, report the investigators.

At the phalanxes, 25-hydroxyvitamin D level positively correlated with bone stiffness, and also significantly correlated with the other measures of QUS.

The researchers point out the clinical usefulness of QUS has not been demonstrated, and further studies will be needed to clarify the relevance of their findings.

By MedWire Reporters

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