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Title: Double-energy x-ray absorptiometry in the diagnosis of osteopenia in ancient skeletal remains
Authors: González-Reimers, E.
Velasco Vázquez, Francisco Javier 
Arnay-De-La-Rosa, M.
Santolaria-Fernández, F.
Gómez-Rodríguez, M. A.
Machado-Calvo, M.
UNESCO Clasification: 550501 Arqueología
Keywords: No disponible.
Issue Date: 2002
Publisher: 0002-9483
Journal: American journal of physical anthropology 
Abstract: Bone mineral density (BMD) assessed by double-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) accurately estimates the bone mass in living individuals, and is thus the method usually employed in the diagnosis and follow-up of osteopenia. It is preferred, in clinical settings, to the more invasive and destructive histomorphometrical assessment of trabecular bone mass in undecalcified bone samples. This study was performed in order to examine the value of DEXA-assessed BMD at the proximal end of the right tibia, either alone or in combination with the cortico-medullary index at the midshaft point of the right tibia (CMI), in the diagnosis of osteopenia in a prehistoric sample composed of 95 pre-Hispanic individuals from Gran Canaria. Age at death could be estimated in 34 cases. Diagnosis of osteopenia was performed by histomorphometrical assessment of trabecular bone mass (TBM) in an undecalcified bone section of a small portion of the proximal epiphysis of the right tibia. A high prevalence of osteopenia was found among the population of Gran Canaria. Both TBM and BMD were significantly lower in the older individuals than in younger ones, and BMD was also significantly lower in female individuals. BMD was moderately correlated with TBM (r = +0.51); the correlation was higher if CMI was included (multiple r = +0.615). BMD values lower than 0.7 g/cm2 showed a high specificity (>93%) at excluding normal TBM values. These methods were prospectively applied in a further sample of 21 right tibiae from Gran Canaria, Tenerife, and El Hierro. The results were similar to those obtained in the larger sample. Thus, DEXA-assessed BMD combined with CMI (noninvasive procedures) may be useful in detecting osteopenia in ancient populations.
ISSN: 0002-9483
DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.10076
Source: American Journal of Physical Anthropology[ISSN 0002-9483],v. 118, p. 134-145
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