Standardization of bone mineral density at femoral neck, trochanter and Ward's triangle

Osteoporos Int. 2001;12(6):438-44. doi: 10.1007/s001980170087.


The International Committee for Standards in Bone Measurement (ICSBM) has published standardization formulas for total hip bone mineral density (BMD). In many applications, however, BMD of hip subregions, such as femoral neck (FN), trochanter (TR), and Ward's triangle (WT), are commonly measured. This paper addresses whether the standardization formulas for total hip BMD can be adequately used for hip subregions. We used data from 100 healthy women, from 20 to 80 years old, who had hip BMD measured in both the total hip and hip subregions by a Hologic QDR 2000, a Lunar DPX, and a Norland XR26 Mark II. The same women were used by ICSBM for the standardization of total hip BMD. In addition, we used data of 3139 patients from a clinical trial to validate our results. We derived standardization formulas for FN, TR, and WT using the same statistical method as that used for total hip BMD. We applied both total hip calibration formulas and subregion-specific formulas to the data and compared the corresponding effect. We found that the total hip calibration formulas can partially reduce BMD differences between the Hologic and Lunar as well as the Lunar and Norland scanners in hip subregions, but increase differences between the Hologic and Norland scanners. The subregion calibration formulas are most appropriate for calibrating subregion BMD values and their absolute changes, and should be adopted. Standardization is unnecessary for BMD percentage changes in our clinical trial data.

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon / instrumentation
  • Absorptiometry, Photon / standards*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Bone Density*
  • Female
  • Femur Neck / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Postmenopause / physiology
  • Reference Standards