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Whole-body and segmental analysis of body composition in adult males with achondroplasia using dual X-ray absorptiometry

Sims, D and Onambélé-Pearson, G and Burden, A and Payton, C and Morse, C (2019) Whole-body and segmental analysis of body composition in adult males with achondroplasia using dual X-ray absorptiometry. PLoS ONE, 14 (3).

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Abstract

© 2019 Sims et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Achondroplasia is a condition characterized by a genetic mutation affecting long bone endplate development. Current data suggests that the bone mineral content (BMC) and bone mineral density (BMD) of achondroplasic populations are below age matched individuals of average stature (controls). Due to the disproportionate limb-to-torso length compared to controls however, the lower BMC and BMD may be nullified when appropriately presented. The aim of this study was to measure whole-body and segmental body composition in adult males with achondroplasia (N = 10, 22 ±3 yrs), present data relative to whole-body and whole-limb values and compare all values to age matched controls (N = 17, 22 ±2 yrs). Dual X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) was used to measure the in vivo mass of the whole-body and 15 segments, from which BMD, BMC, fat free mass (FFM) and body fat mass were measured. BMC of lumbar vertebrae (L1-4) was also measured and presented as a volumetric BMD (BMD VOL ). The achondroplasic group had less BMC, BMD and FFM, and more body fat mass than controls as a whole-body measure. The lower achondroplasic BMC and BMD was somewhat nullified when presented relative to whole-body and whole-limb values respectively. There was no difference in lumbar BMD VOL between groups. Whole-body BMD measures presented the achondroplasic group as ‘osteopenic’. When relative to whole-limb measures however, achondroplasic BMD descriptions were normal. Further work is needed to create a body composition database for achondroplasic population’s, or for clinicians to present achondroplasic body composition values relative to the whole-limb.

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