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Applicability of Quantitative Ultrasonography of the Radius and Tibia in HIV-Infected Children and Adolescents

Mora, Stefano MD*; Viganò, Alessandra MD; Cafarelli, Laura MD; Pattarino, Giulia MD; Giacomet, Vania MD; Gabiano, Clara MD; Mignone, Federica MD; Zuccotti, Gianvincenzo MD

JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes: August 2009 - Volume 51 - Issue 5 - p 588-592
doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181adc838
Brief Report: Clinical Science

Objective: To assess applicability of quantitative ultrasonography (QUS) for bone health assessment in HIV-infected youths.

Methods: QUS measurements of the radius and tibia and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) measurements of the lumbar spine and whole skeleton were obtained in 88 HIV-infected children and adolescents (aged 4.8-22.1 years, 43 boys and 45 girls).

Results: Radius speed of sound was significantly associated to lumbar spine and total body DXA measurements (R values from 0.57 to 0.60), after correction for differences in sex and anthropometry. Similarly, speed of sound of the tibia was associated to all DXA measurements (R from 0.58 to 0.66). The z scores calculated for lumbar spine DXA measurements were significantly lower (P < 0.0001) than those of QUS measurements, although no differences were observed between QUS and total body z scores.

Conclusions: Our study shows that QUS of the peripheral skeleton is related to DXA. The ability to detect low values is similar to that of total body DXA. Our data suggest that QUS may be an additional diagnostic tool for the study of bone mass in HIV-infected youths.

From the *Laboratory of Pediatric Endocrinology, Pediatric Bone Densitometry Service and BoNetwork, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy; †Department of Pediatrics, L. Sacco Hospital, University of Milan, Milan, Italy; and ‡Department of Pediatrics, Regina Margherita Hospital, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.

Received for publication August 27, 2008; accepted February 25, 2009.

Supported in part by grant no. 30G.31 from Istituto Superiore di Sanità, VI Programma Nazionale di Ricerca sull'AIDS, 2006.

Correspondence to: Stefano Mora, MD, Laboratory of Pediatric Endocrinology, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Via Olgettina 60, 20132 Milan, Italy (e-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.