Comparison between quantitative calcaneal and tibial ultrasound in a Dutch Caucasian pediatric and adolescent population

M H Lequin, W C Hop, R R van Rijn, M C Bukkems, L L Verhaak, S G Robben, C Van Kuijk

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In the field of bone densitometry, attention has recently been focused on the pediatric population. Quantitative ultrasound (QUS) as bone assessment technique has many advantages for children in comparison with bone assessment techniques that use ionizing radiation. In this pilot study, we investigated the use of calcaneal and tibial QUS systems in a healthy Caucasian pediatric population. We studied 120 healthy Caucasian Dutch children between ages 7 and 19 yr: 53 boys (mean age of 12.5 yr, range 4.5-18) and 67 girls (mean age of 13.5 yr; range 7.1-19). We recruited children from a large population who previously had participated in a bone assessment study performed at our hospital. Two operators performed calcaneal QUS of the right calcaneus and tibial QUS of the right tibia. The correlation between calcaneal and tibial ultrasound was modest but significant (r = 0.29; p < 0.01). Using the calcaneal device, we found in girls a weak positive correlation between skeletal age and speed of sound (SOS) (r = 0.38), broadband ultrasound attenuation (r = 0.57), and quantitative ultrasound index (r = 0.46), all with a value of p < 0.01. For boys all parameters failed to reach significance. Using the tibial device, we found a good correlation between skeletal age and SOS in girls (r = 0.76) and modest correlation in boys (r = 0.50), both with a value of p < 0.01. This is one of the first studies to present a comparison between two ultrasound techniques in children. At present we feel that, in light of the poor correlation with skeletal age, calcaneal ultrasound has yet to prove its efficacy in children. Tibial ultrasound seems to be a good bone assessment technique in children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-46
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of clinical densitometry : the official journal of the International Society for Clinical Densitometry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Adolescent
  • Bone Density
  • Calcaneus
  • Child
  • Comparative Study
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Journal Article
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Tibia
  • Ultrasonography

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