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The measurement of broadband ultrasonic attenuation (BUA) in the os calcis has been described recently but the method has not been compared with other non-invasive techniques for the assessment of bone mass. We have compared the measurement of BUA in the os calcis with single-photon absorptiometry of the distal forearm in 44 subjects. A highly significant positive correlation was found between these two measurements (r = 0.80, p less than 0.001). Day to day repeatability was assessed for both techniques, with coefficients of variation of 3.9% and 1.4%, respectively, being obtained. Broadband ultrasonic attenuation appears to be a potentially useful bone measurement in the appendicular skeleton.

Original publication




Journal article


Clinical physics and physiological measurement : an official journal of the Hospital Physicists' Association, Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Medizinische Physik and the European Federation of Organisations for Medical Physics

Publication Date





375 - 379


Forearm, Bone and Bones, Calcaneus, Humans, Minerals, Ultrasonics, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Middle Aged, Female, Male