BROADBAND ULTRASOUND ATTENUATION OF THE CALCANEUS: A tool for assessing bone status in patients with chronic renal failure

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To evaluate broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA) for the assessment of bone status and to correlate this to dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in haemodialysis patients.

Material and Methods:

In 60 patients, BUA (dB/MHz) was determined for the calcaneus. The results were expressed as Z-scores and T-scores, i.e. units of standard deviations respectively from age- and sex- matched normal values and from sex-matched normal mean values in healthy young adults. Ultrasound data were correlated to relevant clinical, biochemical and DXA data (g/cm2), which were examined at the femoral neck and at the lumbar spine in 50 patients.


The BUA Z-score was <−1 in 53% of the patients and <−2 in 22%. The BUA T-score was <−1 in 88% and <−2 in 62%. Moderate correlation was found for calcaneal BUA to DXA in men (r=0.47-0.48, p<0.01) and to DXA of the lumbar spine in women (r=0.51, p<0.05). The best correlation was observed for BUA to DXA of the femoral neck in women (r=0.61, p<0.01).


Calcaneal BUA is an additional tool for the surveillance of bone density in haemodialysed patients.

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