RESEARCH PAPER
Interrelationships between morphometric, densitometric and mechanical properties of lumbar vertebrae in pigs
 
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1
Department of Animal Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Agricultural University, Lublin, Poland
2
II Department of Radiology, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
3
Department of Polymer Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, MCS University, Lublin, Poland
 
J Pre Clin Clin Res. 2007;1(2):165–170
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ABSTRACT
This study was performed to determine interrelationships between morphometric, densitometric and mechanical properties of the lumbar vertebrae in pigs. Six lumbar vertebrae (L1 -L6 ) were isolated post mortem from healthy males(n = 6) of the Large Polish White breed at the age of 8 months. Computed tomography technique was used to determine total bone volume (Bvol), cross-sectional area (A) and trabecular bone mineral density (Td) ofthe vertebral body, mean volumetric bone mineral density (MvBMD), as well as calcium hydroxyapatite density in the trabecular (TdCa-HA) and cortical (CbCa-HA) bones ofthe lumbar vertebrae.Using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) method, bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral content (BMC) were determined. The compression test of the lumbar vertebrae was performed to derive mechanical parameters such as ultimate force (Fu ), ultimate stress (σu ), Young’s modulus (E), stiffness (S) and work to the ultimate force point (W). Pearson’s correlation coefficient was determined for all the investigated variables. Results obtained in this study showed positive correlations between bone weight, Bvol, A and BMC, while the same parameters were negatively correlated with densitometric parameters such as Td, CbCa-HA, TdCa-HA and MvBMD. Positive correlations were found between Td, TdCa-HA, CbCa-HA and MvBMD, while BMC was found to be negatively correlated with Td, TdCa-HA, CbCa-HA E and σu. Mechanical parameters such as Fu, E, σu, S and W were found to be positively correlated. Furthermore, CbCa-HA and BMD showed positive correlations with the values of Fu, σu, and W. In conclusion, due to relatively poor correlations ofthe morphometric and densitometric parameters with mechanical strength of the lumbar vertebrae, results of this study suggest that densitometric measurements should be followed by mechanical evaluation for precise determination of the axial skeleton properties in pigs. Considering the striking similarities existing between humans and pigs in terms of size and shape of spine, as well as physiology and anatomy of the gastrointestinal tract and skeletal system, the use of these animals in pre-clinical studies on bone metabolism regulation with pharmacological and dietary factors seems to be very advantageous when interpolating obtained results for humans.
 
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