Segmental variations of bone mineral density in the cervical spine

Lukas J. Curylo, Ronald W. Lindsey, Brian J. Doherty, Adrian LeBlanc

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Study Design. This study assessed the variability of segmental bone mineral density in the lower cervical spine (C4 through C7). A mean segmental bone mineral density value at each level was determined for all specimens, and a mean coefficient of variation among the 17 specimens was calculated. Objectives. To quantify the degree of intersegmental bone mineral density variations within cadaveric lower cervical spine segments. Summary of Background Data. Bone mineral density studies in the thoracic and lumbar spine have shown a high degree of variability between spinal segments; however, the extent of segmental bone mineral density variability in the cervical spine is unknown. Methods. Seventeen human cadaveric cervical spine specimens (C4 through C7) were scanned in a water bath using dual energy x- ray absorptiometry in a lateral direction. Segmental bone mineral density of the vertebral bodies of all specimens were analyzed with respect to differences between segments within each specimen. Results. The mean coefficient of segmental bone mineral density variations within each specimen for all spines was 14.8% (range, 5.6%-22.9%). Bone mineral density mean values and ranges at each level were as follows: C4, 0.720 g/cm2 (range, 0.367-1.161 g/cm2); C5, 0,784 g/cm2 (range, 0.348-1,268 g/cm2); C6, 0.735 g/crn2 (range 0.367-1.450 g/cm2); C7, 0.590 g/cm2 (range, 0.340-1.040 g/cm2). Paired analysis of difference between all levels for 16 specimens demonstrated the bone mineral density at the C7 level to be significantly lower than at all other levels (P < 0.05). Conclusion. Our data show that significant interlevel bone mineral density variability exists in the lower cervical spine, and suggests that random single segment bone mineral density sampling or mean specimen bone mineral density values may not be relevant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-322
Number of pages4
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • bone mineral density
  • cervical spine
  • segmental variations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Segmental variations of bone mineral density in the cervical spine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this