Relationship of bone mineralization density distribution (BMDD) in cortical and cancellous bone within the iliac crest of healthy premenopausal women

Calcif Tissue Int. 2014 Oct;95(4):332-9. doi: 10.1007/s00223-014-9901-4. Epub 2014 Aug 19.


Bone mineralization density distribution (BMDD) is an important determinant of bone mechanical properties. The most available skeletal site for access to the BMDD is the iliac crest. Compared to cancellous bone much less information on BMDD is available for cortical bone. Hence, we analyzed complete transiliac crest bone biopsy samples from premenopausal women (n = 73) aged 25-48 years, clinically classified as healthy, by quantitative backscattered electron imaging for cortical (Ct.) and cancellous (Cn.) BMDD. The Ct.BMDD was characterized by the arithmetic mean of the BMDD of the cortical plates. We found correlations between Ct. and Cn. BMDD variables with correlation coefficients r between 0.42 and 0.73 (all p < 0.001). Additionally to this synchronous behavior of cortical and cancellous compartments, we found that the heterogeneity of mineralization densities (Ct.Ca(Width)), as well as the cortical porosity (Ct.Po) was larger for a lower average degree of mineralization (Ct.Ca(Mean)). Moreover, Ct.Po correlated negatively with the percentage of highly mineralized bone areas (Ct.Ca(High)) and positively with the percentage of lowly mineralized bone areas (Ct.Ca(Low)). In conclusion, the correlation of cortical with cancellous BMDD in the iliac crest of the study cohort suggests coordinated regulation of bone turnover between both bone compartments. Only in a few cases, there was a difference in the degree of mineralization of >1wt % between both cortices suggesting a possible modeling situation. This normative dataset of healthy premenopausal women will provide a reference standard by which disease- and treatment-specific effects can be assessed at the level of cortical bone BMDD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Bone Density*
  • Bone and Bones / pathology*
  • Calcification, Physiologic*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Electrons
  • Female
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Ilium / pathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Porosity
  • Premenopause
  • Probability
  • Scattering, Radiation