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16-01-2024 | Artificial Intelligence | Original Article

Does ethnicity influence bone health index in children? A pilot study

Authors: Grammatina Boitsios, Thomas Saliba, Maria Pilar Aparisi Gómez, Paolo Simoni

Published in: Pediatric Radiology | Issue 2/2024

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Abstract

Background

Several pathological conditions can lead to variations in bone mineral content during growth. When assessing bone age, bone mineral content can be estimated without supplementary cost and irradiation. Manual assessment of bone quality using the Exton-Smith index (ESI) and automated assessment of the bone health index (BHI) provided by the BoneXpert® software are available but still not validated in different ethnic groups.

Objective

Our aim is to provide normative values of the ESI and BHI for healthy European Caucasian and first-generation children of North Africans living in Europe.

Materials and methods

A sex- and aged-match population of 214 girls (107 European-Caucasian and 107 North African) and 220 boys (111 European-Caucasian and 109 North African) were retrospectively and consecutively included in the study. Normal radiographs of the left hand and wrist from healthy children were retrieved from those performed in a single institution from 2008 to 2017 to rule out a left-hand fracture. Radiographs were processed by BoneXpert® to obtain the BHI and BHI standard deviation score (SDS). One radiologist, blinded to BHI values, manually calculated ESI for each patient. The variability for both methods was assessed and compared using the standard deviation (SD) of the median (%) for each class of age and sex, and ESI and BHI trends were compared by sex and ethnic group.

Results

The final population comprised 434 children ages 3 to 15 years (214 girls). Overall, BHI was lower in North African children (mean = 4.23 for girls and 4.17 in boys) than in European Caucasians (mean = 4.50 for girls and 4.68 in boys) (P < 0.001). Regardless of ethnicity, 29 girls (13.6%) and 34 boys (15.5%) had BHI more than 2 SD from the mean. While correlated to BHI, ESI has a higher variability than BHI and is more pronounced from 8–12 years for both sexes (mean ESI in European Caucasian girls and boys 17.47 and 20.87, respectively) (P < 0.001). ESI showed more than 15% variability in European girls from 8–12 years and a plateau in North African boys from 12 years to 16 years. However, the BHI has less than 15% variability regardless of age and ethnic group.

Conclusion

BHI may be a reliable tool to detect children with abnormal bone mineral content, with lower variability compared to ESI and with specific trends depending on sex and ethnicity.
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Metadata
Title
Does ethnicity influence bone health index in children? A pilot study
Authors
Grammatina Boitsios
Thomas Saliba
Maria Pilar Aparisi Gómez
Paolo Simoni
Publication date
16-01-2024
Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Published in
Pediatric Radiology / Issue 2/2024
Print ISSN: 0301-0449
Electronic ISSN: 1432-1998
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00247-023-05844-x

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