Bone mineral density in children: New UK perspective for interpretation

Author(s): Sue Barlow

Hospital: Vertec Scientific

Reference: RAD Magazine, 44, 518, 17


The possibility of poor bone health in children is becoming greater from poor nutrition, lack of exercise, hereditary factors or iatrogenic due to treatment of chronic conditions.

Lumbar spine (LS) and total body less head (TBLH) are the preferred sites for measuring bone mineral content (BMC) in grammes or areal bone mineral density (BMD) in g/cm2 in children. BMD values for children are expressed as age and sex-specific standard deviation (SD) scores (Z-scores), but they also depend on body size, ethnicity, pubertal staging and skeletal maturity.

The prevention of osteoporosis, often deemed a geriatric disorder, may now be considered the legitimate domain of paediatricians. This may be true regarding the acquisition of peak bone mass in the normal healthy child but there are many other factors that will affect bone health. Causes range from osteogenesis imperfecta (genetically inherited) to iatrogenic agents such as glucocorticoids and chemo/radiotherapy

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