Differentiating between orchiectomized rats and controls using measurements of trabecular bone density: a comparison among DXA, histomorphometry, and peripheral quantitative computerized tomography


In studies of rat bone metabolism, trabecular bone density should be measured. Three established methods of measuring trabecular bone include trabecular bone volume by histomorphometry (BV/TV%), trabecular bone density by peripheral quantitative computerized tomography (pQCT), and areal bone density of trabecular-rich regions by dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). We compared the ability of these three methods to discriminate between orchiectomized (orchidectomized) rats and controls. Sixteen male Sprague-Dawley rats (400-425 g) were orchiectomized, and 16 others were controls. In vivo spine bone mineral density (BMD) was measured at the beginning of the study and again after 11 weeks. Rats were sacrificed, and ex vivo BMDs of the right femur and tibia were measured by DXA, followed by trabecular bone density of the right proximal tibia by pQCT. BT/TV% of the left proximal tibia was measured by histomorphometry. Differences between groups were detected by all three methods, but both the magnitude of the difference between groups and the variance of the measurements was much greater for histomorphometry and pQCT than for DXA. Consequently, the statistical significance for the difference between groups was comparable for all three methods. Of the sites measured with DXA, the proximal tibia had the greatest statistical significance for the difference between groups. In summary, all three methods can demonstrate the effect of orchiectomy on trabecular bone. The large differences between groups seen by histomorphometry are also seen by pQCT but not by DXA. We conclude that trabecular bone density by pQCT may be a reasonable surrogate for measurements by histomorphometry.

Author: Rosen HN, Tollin S, Balena R, Middlebrooks VL, Beamer WG, Donohue LR, Rosen C, Turner A, Holick M, Greenspan SL

Organization: Charles A. Dana Research Institute, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, MA 02215, USA.

Year: 1995

Created on: 05.12.2007

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