McMaster University

McMaster University

Bone Research In Nuclear Medicine

Bone research programs incorporate two distinct areas of endeavor. The first explores the in-vivo assessment of bone mass, bone quality and joint integrity. The techniques applied include dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) for the evaluation of bone mineral density (BMD), body composition and vertebral fracture assessment (VFA). Dedicated research instruments include a peripheral, 1 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imager for the evaluation of appendicular joints. Also available is a peripheral quantitated computed tomography scanner for the measurement of volumetric bone density. Both pMRI and pQCT devices allow assessment of bone structure. These instruments and techniques are employed in addressing issues in pediatric and adult patients suffering from bone and joint diseases.

The second area of research is the in-vivo assessment of heavy metal content following occupational exposure to various toxic elements. For many elements, the skeleton is the site of deposition with long retention times such that a measure of bone content reflects lifetime cumulative exposure to the element in question. We are able currently to measure the concentrations of lead and strontium in people using the technique of in-vivo X-ray fluorescence excitation. Measurement systems are at various stages of development for the evaluation of exposures to aluminum, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, fluorine, manganese, gadolinium and germanium.

For more information, please contact Dr. Colin Webber at

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