Assessing bone mineral density in vivo: digitized fluoroscopy and ultrasound

Robert Fleming, D Korver, Heather McCormack, C C Whitehead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The genetic component of osteoporosis in caged laying hens is large, and a method for detecting hens susceptible to fracture could be useful in breeding programs. A radiographic absorptiometry film method was modified by video digitization from an image intensifier and computer analysis and termed digitized fluoroscopy (DF). Humeral and ulnar DF values were measured in 165 hens during lay. Relationships (P < 0.001) were seen between DF assessments from 25 wk onward and postmortem measurements at 70 wk. We conclude that DF can detect poor bones in hens early but is problematic. Quantitative ultrasound was also investigated. We measured amplitude-dependent speed-of-sound (Ad-SoS) in the third toe in hens. Nutritional studies revealed Ad-SoS values correlated with postmortem peripheral quantitative computerized tomography, (control group, r = 0.48, P < 0.001; treatment group, r = 0.39, P < 0.001). In caged and free-range hens, Ad-SoS correlated with shear strength (r = 0.33, P < 0.001, all hens) and radiographic density values (r = 0.53, P < 0.001, all hens) measured postmortem. The Ad-SoS values were higher in free-range than in caged hens (1,904 vs. 1,850 m/s, P < 0.001). Ad-SoS measurements were made in hens from a study where divergent genetic selection has produced high and low bone index lines with 92% difference in tibia strength. The value in high bone index hens was higher than in low bone index hens at 32 (P < 0.001), 42 (P < 0.001), 52 (P < 0.05), and 62 wk (P < 0.001) in generation 8. In an Ad-SoS heritability study, heritability estimates ranged from 0.15 to 0.39. We conclude that Ad-SoS is a heritable trait, reflects other bone measurements, and rapidly detects poor bone quality in hens.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-14
Number of pages8
JournalPoultry Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Animals
  • Bone Density
  • Chickens/genetics
  • Chickens/physiology
  • Female
  • Fluoroscopy/methods
  • Fluoroscopy/veterinary
  • Housing, Animal
  • Male
  • Osteoporosis/genetics
  • Osteoporosis/radiography
  • Osteoporosis/ultrasonography
  • Osteoporosis/veterinary
  • Oviposition
  • Poultry Diseases/genetics
  • Poultry Diseases/radiography
  • Poultry Diseases/ultrasonography
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement
  • Selection, Genetic


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