The rabbit could be a superior animal model to use in bone physiology studies, for the rabbit does attain true skeletal maturity. However, there are neither normative bone mineral density (BMD) data on the rabbit nor are there any validation studies on the use of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) to measure spinal BMD in the rabbit. Therefore, our aim was twofold: first, to investigate whether DXA could be used precisely and accurately to determine the bone mineral content (BMC), bone area (BA), and BMD of the rabbit lumbar spine; Second, to evaluate the new generation fan-beam DXA (Hologic QDR-4500) with small animal software by comparing two DXA methodologies QDR-1000 and QDR-4500 with each other, as well as against volumetric bone density (VBMD) derived from Archimedes' principle as expected, there was a magnification error in the QDR-4500 (BMC, BA, and BMD increased by 52%, 38%, and 10%, respectively, when the vertebrae were positioned flat against the scanning table). With the magnification error kept constant (vertebrae positioned 10 cm above the scanning table to match the height in vivo), there were no differences among the mean BMC, BA, and BMD of the rabbit vertebrae (L1-L7) in vivo and in vitro using the QDR-4500 (p > 0.05). BMC, BA, and BMD differed between QDR-1000 and QDR-4500 in vitro because of a magnification error when the vertebrae were flat on the table (p < 0.0001), and, consequently, the machines did not correlate with one another (p > 0.05). However, the BMC, BA, and BMD of the two DXAs did significantly correlate with each other in vivo and in vitro when the magnification error was compensated for (r2 = 0.44 and 0.52, r2= 0.45 and 0.63, and r2= 0.41 and 0.60, respectively, p < 0.05-0.008). The BMC and BMD (in vivo and in vitro) of the rabbit vertebrae measured by QDR-4500 was significantly correlated with VMBD, ash weight, and mineral content (r2= 0.67-0.90, p < 0.01-0.0001). Therefore, the QDR-4500 can be used to yield precise and accurate measurements of the rabbit spine.
- Bone mineral density
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging