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Ultrasonic attenuation in bone in vivo is generally measured using a through-transmission method at the calcaneus. Although attenuation in calcaneus has been demonstrated to be a useful predictor for osteoporotic fracture risk, measurements at other clinically important sites, such as hip and spine, could potentially contain additional useful diagnostic information. Through-transmission measurements may not be feasible at these sites due to complex bone shapes and the increased amount of intervening soft tissue. Centroid shift from the backscattered signal is an index of attenuation slope and has been used previously to characterize soft tissues. In this paper, centroid shift from signals backscattered from 30 trabecular bone samples in vitro were measured. Attenuation slope also was measured using a through-transmission method. The correlation coefficient between centroid shift and attenuation slope was -0.71. The 95% confidence interval was (-0.86, -0.47). These results suggest that the backscattered spectral centroid shift may contain useful diagnostic information potentially applicable to hip and spine.