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Keywords:

  • Broad-band ultrasound attenuation;
  • Contact Ultrasound Bone Analyser;
  • dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry;
  • total body bone mineral density

We measured broad-band ultrasound attenuation (BUA) in the calcaneum using the prototype Paediatric Contact Ultrasound Bone Analyser (CUBA) and total body bone mineral density (TBBMD) using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) (Hologic QDR-1000W) in 58, 7 17-year-old healthy children and adolescents. Calcaneal BUA was significantly related to TBBMD (r= 0.74, p < 0.001), and both the calcaneal BUA and TBBMD were significantly correlated with age and body weight. We conclude that calcaneal BUA reflects bone mineral density (BMD) in healthy children and adolescents; however, BMD measured by CUBA appears to be less sensitive than that measured by DXA. Since BUA reflects structural properties of bone, as well as density, it may complement radiological techniques of bone density measurement in the assessment of paediatric conditions associated with fracture risk.