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A comparison study is reported on the ultrasonic assessment of human trabecular and bovine trabecular bone samples. Both ultrasonic velocity and ultrasonic attenuation were evaluated through a transmission insertion technique and correlated with bone mineral density as determined with single photon absorptiometry. For a 1 MHz ultrasonic transducer pair and the human cancellous bone samples the correlations were 0.91 and 0.89 between density and velocity and attenuation, respectively. For a 500 kHz ultrasonic transducer pair the correlations were 0.89 and 0.81 between density and velocity and attenuation, respectively. For the bovine bone samples, the correlations were 0.90 and -0.31 for the velocity and attenuation, respectively, for the 1 MHz transducer pair. For the 500 kHz transducers, the correlations were 0.85 and -0.17 for the velocity and attenuation, respectively. By combining both velocity and attenuation in a multivariate regression, an improvement was achieved in the estimation of bone density in the human samples for both the 500 kHz and 1 MHz transducer pairs. No significant improvement was achieved in the multivariate regressions for the bovine bone samples. In conclusion, the results indicate that ultrasonic measurements are in general highly correlated with bone mineral density in trabecular bone samples. This correlation is more consistent and strong in relatively low density human samples compared with the higher density bovine samples.