Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry in sheep: experiences with in vivo and ex vivo studies.


As different large animal models of osteopenia and osteoporosis are explored, the use of DXA to rapidly, non-invasively and accurately estimate BMD will become widespread. We used DXA in live sheep and cadaveric material and the areas of trabecular bone that are most accessible on a simple, repeatable basis in the sheep were the lumbar vertebrae (L4-L6/L5-L7), the CAL and the DR. We performed dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) using an Hologic QDR 1000-W bone densitometer to measure bone mineral density (BMD) at various regions of interest in anesthetized sheep and cadaveric specimens of sheep. In vivo measurements of L4-L6/L5-L7, the calcaneus (CAL) and distal radius (DR) in 48 intact 3 to 5-year-old ewes (same breed) were performed. Correlations between the different bones were investigated. In an in vivo precision study, BMD of L3-L6/L7, CAL and DR was determined with one animal repositioned between 10 scans of each bone. In another study, ex-vivo BMD measurements of the proximal and distal femur, proximal tibia, and proximal humerus were performed on isolated bones of 45 ewes of similar age. Excised vertebrae were scanned on the Hologic QDR 1000-W and on a Lunar DPX (at another site) and the data were compared. Correlations of BMD between individual vertebrae in anesthetized sheep were excellent (r = 0.944- 0.843; P < 0.0001). Correlation between BMD of individual vertebrae and CAL was good (r = 0.677-0.630), while correlation between BMD of individual vertebrae and DR was also good (r = 0.551-0.507; P < .0001).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)


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