The accrual of optimal bone mass during childhood and adolescence is essential for the formation of a skeleton that will meet structural needs throughout life. Assessing bone health of children is becoming increasingly important in order to identify those who require interventions, and quantitative ultrasound (QUS) has appeal for these assessments. The purpose of this prospective study was to characterize changes in QUS values in 328 healthy children and adolescents over a 3-yr period. Measurements of QUS, height, weight, nutrient intake, fracture history, and Tanner stage were made at baseline and 3 yr later. Both females and males experienced significant increases in QUS values during the study. The rate of change of QUS peaked at an earlier age in females than in males, and maximum accumulation rates in both genders occurred at ages at which highest accumulation rates are seen with densitometry. Females exhibited higher QUS values than males during puberty, also similar to results for dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). This is the first report of prospective data of QUS in children and adolescents. Our findings that QUS values change during childhood and adolescence in a manner similar to DXA values, the 'gold standard,' provide support for the validity of using QUS to assess bone health in children and adolescents.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging