A technique for taking standardized bone samples has been described. Fat-free, dry weight of standardized bone samples was recorded in men and women who had died suddenly between the ages of twenty and eighty-five years and in osteoporotic patients. Decrease in bone mass was found to occur in both sexes but to a greater degree, and twenty years earlier, in women than in men. This change seems related to the climacteric in both sexes rather than to aging. Samples from young alcoholics were similar in weight to postclimacteric normal persons, whereas osteoporotic patients had values less than any of the others.
Measurements of cortical thickness made on standard roentgenograms of the upper part of the radial shaft correlated well with the weights of iliac-crest biopsy samples, suggesting that changes in the latter reflect general skeletal changes.
Copyright 1965 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated