• fractures;
  • osteogenesis imperfecta;
  • quantitative ultrasound

Aims:  Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is characterised by low bone density and increased bone fragility. The aim was to evaluate calcaneal quantitative ultrasonometry (QUS) parameters in children with OI and to look for relationship with the number of prevalent fractures.

Methods:  Eighteen children (12 boys and six girls; mean age 9.8 ± 3.5 years) with OI (type I, n= 15; type IV, n= 3; mean fracture prevalence 3.7 per patient) had the velocity of sound (VOS) and broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA) measured on both heels with a Cuba Clinical (McCue Ultrasonics, Winchester, UK) dry ultrasound portable device. Both BUA and VOS were expressed as either age-dependent or height-related values. The obtained values of VOS and BUA were correlated to number of prevalent fractures.

Results:  The patients were of short stature (Z-score –1.73 ± 1.20 SD; P < 0.001). Both age-related BUA and VOS were low in comparison to reference values (P < 0.0001), same as height-adjusted BUA and VOS (P < 0.0001). We found no correlations between number of prevalent fractures and BUA or VOS (age-related or height-adjusted) (r= 0.02, r= 0.017, r=–0.13, r= 0.015, respectively).

Conclusions:  Children with OI have low QUS parameters with no relationship to number of prevalent fractures.