Hong Kong Med J 2001;7:241-5 | Number 3, September 2001
The effect of vertebral rotation of the lumbar spine on dual energy X-ray absorptiometry measurements: observational study
JCY Cheng, HL Sher, X Guo, VWY Hung, AYK Cheung
Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong
OBJECTIVE. To estimate how axial rotation of lumbar vertebrae quantitatively affects bone mineral density, as measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry in the anteroposterior plane.
DESIGN. Observational study. Setting. University teaching hospital, Hong Kong.
SETTING. University teaching hospital, Hong Kong.
PATIENTS. Cadaver lumbar vertebrae (L2 to L4) were removed from four adults.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES. Using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, the bone mineral content, bone area, and bone mineral density were measured in the neutral position and with vertebral axial rotation in increments of 7.5 degrees, up to a maximum of 45 degrees.
RESULTS. Correlation analysis showed a significant positive correlation between the degree of rotation and measured bone area, a significant negative correlation between degree of rotation and bone mineral density measurements, but no significant correlation between degree of rotation and measured bone mineral content. The measured bone area increased approximately 24% and the bone mineral density decreased approximately 19% when the vertebrae were rotated by 45 degrees.
CONCLUSIONS. These results suggest that for patients with rotational deformity of the spine, such as scoliosis, measurements of lumbar spine bone mineral content by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry is not affected, while bone mineral density measurements are not reliable.
Key words: Absorptiometry, Bone density; Densitometry, X-ray; Lumbar vertebrae; Scoliosis
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