Document Detail

Determination of calcaneal ultrasound properties ex situ: reproducibility, effects of storage, formalin fixation, maceration, and changes in anatomic measurement site.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10441649     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The objective of this study was to determine the reproducibility of ultrasonic bone properties with a system for measuring calcanei ex situ; the influence of changes of the measurement site; and the effects of fixation, storage, and maceration. We examined 14 fixed calcanei and 12 fresh bones. Ultrasonic measurements were performed ex situ after degassing, using an Achilles+ system and a special positioning device. The instrument precision was 0.16% for speed of sound (SOS), 1.4% for broadband ultrasonic attenuation (BUA), and 1. 8% for the stiffness index (SI). The short-term precision was 0.54%, 1.9%, and 2.8%, respectively. A defined shift of the measurement site (5 mm distal of the middle) led to unpredictable changes in ultrasound (US) properties (r = 0.65 for SOS, 0.82 for BUA, and 0.75 for SI). Embalment with 4% formalin/96% alcohol caused a systematic decrease in SOS, an increase in BUA, and a decrease in SI (mean = -12.7 units; P < 0.001), the effect increasing with time. However, values at 6 months of fixation and later were highly correlated with those in fresh specimens (r = 0.95 for the SI). Two weeks storage in degassed and normal solution had only modest effects on ultrasound properties. Maceration did not lead to a systematic increase or decrease of ultrasound variables, but introduced unpredictable changes (r = 0.64-0.94). We conclude that in comparative biomechanical studies it is feasible to measure calcaneal specimens embalmed in formalin/alcohol ex situ, if the primary interest is not in the absolute values but in the correlation with mechanical failure loads at other skeletal sites.
G Pöpperl; E Lochmüller; H Becker; G Mall; M Steinlechner; F Eckstein
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Calcified tissue international     Volume:  65     ISSN:  0171-967X     ISO Abbreviation:  Calcif. Tissue Int.     Publication Date:  1999 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1999-10-07     Completed Date:  1999-10-07     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7905481     Medline TA:  Calcif Tissue Int     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  192-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
I. Frauenklinik der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Maistr. 11, D-80337 München, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Aged, 80 and over
Calcaneus / ultrasonography*
Reproducibility of Results
Specimen Handling
Tissue Fixation
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Fixatives; 50-00-0/Formaldehyde

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