Dependence of the velocity and attenuation of ultrasound in bone on the mineral content

Phys Med Biol. 1991 Nov;36(11):1529-37. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/36/11/012.


Measurements of the attenuation and velocity of ultrasound from 0.3 to 0.8 MHz have been performed on a number of bovine cancellous bone samples. The influence of bone mineral content has been isolated by measuring the acoustic properties of the samples at various stages of demineralization resulting from controlled nitric acid attack. The correlation coefficient r, between the attenuation at different frequencies and bone density was found to be in the range 0.68-0.97. Broadband ultrasonic attenuation (BUA) was also calculated and produced r values between 0.84 and 0.99. The velocity measurements indicated a correlation greater than 0.97 in all cases. Thus velocity is the parameter most sensitive to changes in bone mineral density alone. Attenuation and BUA are less well correlated presumably because of a sensitivity to minor structural change.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Density / physiology*
  • Bone and Bones / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cattle
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Ultrasonography