Different diagnostic techniques for the assessment of cortical bone on osteoporotic animals

G. Giavaresi, V. Borsari, M. Fini, L. Martini, M. Tschon, F. De Terlizzi, A. Nicolini, A. Carpi, R. Giardino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to assess the capability of ultrasonography and densitometry to predict the mechanical competence of cortical bone in healthy and osteopenic rats, respectively. Thirty 10-month-old Sprague-Dawley retired breeder female rats were used and randomized into three groups of 10 animals each. A group underwent bilateral ovariectomy by dorsal approach (Ovx), another group underwent a simulated ovariectomy (Sham-Ovx), and the last group served as a sham-aged control group (Control). Sixteen weeks after surgery, the animals were euthanized and the femurs of each rat excised for ultrasonographic and densitometric measurements, and mechanical analyses. The Ovx Group had a significantly decreased amplitude dependent speed of sound (AD-SoS - about 7-8%) when compared to the other groups (p <0.0005). For Ovx animals compared with Sham-Ovx and Control rats, significant decreases in densitometric data were observed (6-13%), as well as significant decreases in femoral Max.Load (about 18%) and flexural rigidity (about 30%). The best correlation (R 2 = 0.55, p <0.0005) found was between SoS and femoral shaft bone mineral density (SBMD). The regression coefficient R 2 increased when power-law fits were used, particularly from 0.34 (p <0.001) to 0.36 (p <0.0005) in the correlation between SoS and Max.Load and from 0.21 (p <0.05) to 0.25 (p <0.01) in the correlation between SBMD and Max.Load. The ability of QUS or DXA to accurately predict the actual mechanical characteristics of bone, and in particular bone elasticity, remained relatively poor and the improvement of the power-law model did not describe exhaustively the relationships between the variables tested. The DXA and QUS capability to discriminate between ovariectomized and non-ovariectomized rats did not improve when tested together.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)494-499
Number of pages6
JournalBiomedicine and Pharmacotherapy
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2004


  • Animal model
  • Dual X-ray absorptiometry
  • Mechanics
  • Ovariectomy
  • Quantitative ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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