Reliability of upper-limb diaphyseal mineral and soft-tissue measurements using peripheral Quantitative Computed Tomography (pQCT)
The Journal of Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interactions
The International Society of Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interactions
Place of Publication
School of Medical and Health Sciences / Exercise Medicine Research Institute
Objectives: To quantify between-day reliability of upper-body diaphyseal measurements (radius, ulna, humerus) using peripheral Quantitative Computed Tomography (pQCT).
Methods: Fourteen males (age: 25.8±2.3 years,) underwent repeat pQCT scans (one to two days apart) at mid-shaft ulna (60%), mid-shaft radius (60%) and mid-shaft humerus (50%) cross-sections of the non-dominant limb. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) and coefficients of variation (CV) were determined for musculoskeletal morphology variables.
Results: Reliability was excellent (ICC: 0.76–0.99; CV: 1.3– 7.3) at all sites for bone mass, stress-strain index, endocortical and pericortical radius, endocortical volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD), muscle area, total area, non-cortical area, and cortical area. Reliability was good to excellent (ICC: 0.58–0.80; CV: 0.6–3.7) for polar vBMD and mid-cortical vBMD; fair to excellent (ICC: 0.30–0.88; CV: 0.5–8.0) for muscle density and cortical density; and fair to good (ICC: 0.25–0.60; CV: 3.4–7.6) for pericortical vBMD. Average reliability across the three sites was excellent (ICC ≥0.77; CV ≤8.0).
Conclusions: Overall between-day reliability of pQCT was excellent for the mid-shaft ulna, radius and humerus. pQCT provides a reliable and feasible body composition and skeletal morphology assessment tool for upper limb longitudinal investigations in scientific and clinic settings.