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Site-Specific Bone Mineral Density Is Unaltered Despite Differences in Fat-Free Soft Tissue Mass Between Affected and Nonaffected Sides in Hemiplegic Paralympic Athletes with Cerebral Palsy: Preliminary Findings.

Runciman, Phoebe PhD; Tucker, Ross PhD; Ferreira, Suzanne PhD; Albertus-Kajee, Yumna PhD; Micklesfield, Lisa PhD; Derman, Wayne MBChB, PhD
American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: Post Author Corrections: May 4, 2016
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000532
Original Research Article: PDF Only

Objective: This study investigated bone mineral density (BMD, g/cm2), fat mass (FM, kg), and fat-free soft tissue mass (FFSTM, kg) in Paralympic athletes with cerebral palsy (CP) using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry.

Methods: Bone mineral density, BMD Z scores (standard deviations), FM, and FFSTM were measured for the whole body and at the lumbar spine, femoral neck, and total hip sites on both nonaffected and affected sides of 6 athletes with hemiplegic CP.

Results: There were no differences between nonaffected and affected sides with respect to site-specific BMD and BMD Z scores and FM. Fat-free soft tissue mass was significantly lower on the affected side in both upper and lower limbs (15% lower; P < 0.05).

Conclusion: The present study is the first to describe similar BMD between sides, symmetry in FM, and asymmetry in FFSTM in Paralympic athletes with CP. These findings have important consequences for rehabilitation, as they indicate the potential for positive physiological adaptation as a result of exercise training over long periods of time.

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