The 84th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2015)

Intracortical porosity of the distal radius: association with evidence of systemic remodeling


1Skeletal Biology Research Laboratory, Division of Anatomy, The Ohio State University, 2Department of Anthropology, The Ohio State University

March 27, 2015 , Archview Ballroom Add to calendar

Distal radius fractures are a common ailment following trauma whether during growth, at peak bone mass, or as a result of decreasing bone quality. Assessment of the integrity of cortical bone in the distal third of the radius has been used to inform fracture risk in the human population throughout advancing age. This study examined distal radii and sixth rib midshaft samples from ten males ranging from 59 to 100 years old (mean 81.1 years) to investigate the effects of systemic remodeling on the porosity of the distal radius. Intracortical porosity was measured manually for each radius and rib by including all Haversian systems, resorption spaces, and Volkmann’s canals. To normalize by size, percent cortical porosity (%Po.Ar) for each element was calculated by dividing the total porosity area by the cortical area (Po.Ar/Ct.Ar). Percent absolute cortical area (%Ct.Ar) was calculated as a measure of intracortical porosity by dividing the absolute cortical area (Ct.Ar-Po.Ar) by the total subperiosteal area (Tt.Ar). Both %Po.Ar and %Ct.Ar in the radius were predicted by age (p= 0.01 and p=0.046, respectively). However, it does not appear that systemic remodeling as assessed in the rib can predict the amount of remodeling and thus porosity in the cortex of the distal radius in this sample (p=0.077). This suggests that although the radius undergoes changes with increasing age, these changes cannot be predicted by an often utilized indicator of systemic bone metabolism (i.e. the rib).