Relationships of cervical, thoracic, and lumbar bone mineral density by quantitative CT

J Comput Assist Tomogr. Jan-Feb 2001;25(1):146-50. doi: 10.1097/00004728-200101000-00027.


Purpose: The purpose of this work was to compare, using quantitative CT (QCT), vertebral bone mineral density (BMD) in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine in healthy volunteers.

Method: QCT of the vertebral bodies of C2, C5, T12, and L4 was performed on 50 healthy volunteers (25 women, 25 men; mean age 31.7 years). Trabecular BMD analysis was performed at each level.

Results: Mean BMDs (mg/cm3 calcium hydroxyapatite) for women and men were highest at C5 (BMD women/men 341.6/300.6 mg/cm3) and C2 (297.2/269.6 mg/cm3) and lowest at T12 (193.1/184.9 mg/cm3) and L4 (186.2/180.1 mg/cm3). The BMD of C2 was statistically significantly different from that of C5, T12, and L4 (p < 0.0001) for both genders. Also, the BMD of C5 differed significantly from that of T12 and L4 (p < 0.0001). The BMD of C5 showed significant gender differences (p = 0.002). Correlation coefficient showed a strong correlation between the BMD of T12 and L4 for both genders (women, r = 0.67; men, r = 0.90).

Conclusion: Trabecular BMD of C2 and C5 measured by QCT is significantly higher than trabecular BMD of T12 and L4 in nonosteoporotic volunteers of both genders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bone Density / physiology*
  • Cervical Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed