Quantitative Ultrasound Measurement at the Hand Phalanges Does Not Reveal Skeletal Disturbances in Children With Bronchial Asthma: A Longitudinal Observation

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Abstract

Objectives

To assess the skeletal status in asthmatic children treated with inhaled corticosteroids in a longitudinal observation by quantitative ultrasound (US) measurement at the hand phalanges.

Methods

Thirty-four children were studied prospectively. Quantitative US measurements were performed at baseline and after a mean ± SD of 2.35 ± 0.20 years. The obtained results were compared to age-, sex-, and body size-matched control participants selected from a database of previously examined healthy children. Individual changes in the amplitude-dependent speed of sound (Ad-SoS) during the follow-up period were also analyzed.

Results

The mean age of the asthmatic children was 10.6 ± 2.5 years. The mean Ad-SoS in the asthmatic children at baseline was 1940.5 ± 49.6 m/s, and the mean Z score was −0.26 ± 0.80. Corresponding values at the follow-up examination were 1976.2 ± 63.6 m/s and −0.18 ± 1.16. The results did not differ significantly in comparison to the healthy controls. The analysis of individual changes in Ad-SoS revealed that 18 participants had a significant increase in this parameter (ie, exceeding the least significant change threshold), and 16 did not have a significant change in their values. No one had a significant decrease in Ad-SoS.

Conclusions

Quantitative US at the hand phalanges applied as a diagnostic tool revealed no essential differences in the pattern of skeletal development between asthmatic children treated with inhaled glucocorticosteroids and healthy controls.

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