Ultrasound velocity through the tibia is not affected by prolonged inhaled steroid therapy in children



Elie Picard, M.D., Pediatric Pulmonology Unit, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, POB 3235, Jerusalem 91031, Israel.

Tel: +02-6666192 |

Fax: +02-6555226 |

Email: picard@szmc.org.il



To evaluate in a prospective, cross-sectional cohort study the impact of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) on bone speed of sound (SOS) in asthmatic children.


Children with mild-to-moderate asthma from a pulmonary clinic were assessed over a 2-month period. We recorded clinical and demographic data related to asthma severity, its treatment, participation in sports and dairy intake. Tibial SOS was measured using the Sunlight Omnisense 7000S quantitative ultrasound bone sonometer.


Eighty-five mild-to-moderate asthmatic children were studied. Age range was 1.4–17 years (71.7% boys). Average disease duration was approximately 5 years, and the average cumulative duration of ICS therapy was approximately 1.5 years. Average SOS Z-score was slightly negative and varied between −3.5 and +1.9 SD. In univariate analysis, SOS Z-score was negatively correlated with asthma duration (R2 = 5.7%, p = 0.028) and ICS duration (R2 = 4.9%, p = 0.042). In backward stepwise multiple regression, where SOS Z-score was the dependent variable, the only variables that remained significant in the final analysis were gender (p = 0.015), asthma duration (p = 0.003) and BMI (p = 0.048) (R2 for the model 17.52% p = 0.01).


Prolonged inhaled steroid therapy appears to have no deleterious effect upon SOS in children with mild-to-moderate persistent asthma.