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The Use of Densitometry to Detect Differences in Bone Mineral Density and Content of Live White Leghorns Fed Varying Levels of Dietary Calcium

by 5m Editor
16 August 2003, at 12:00am

By M. A. Schreiweis, P. Y. Hester Purdue University, Department of Animal Sciences, J. I. Orban, Southern University, Shreveport, Louisiana and M. C. Ledur, Embrapa Swine and Poultry Research Center, Concordia, Brazil

The Use of Densitometry to Detect Differences in Bone Mineral Density and Content of Live White Leghorns Fed Varying Levels of Dietary Calcium - By M. A. Schreiweis, P. Y. Hester Purdue University, Department of Animal Sciences, J. I. Orban, Southern University, Shreveport, Louisiana and M. C. Ledur, Embrapa Swine and Poultry Research Center, Concordia, Brazil

ABSTRACT

Densitometry was investigated as a noninvasive tool to monitor skeletal integrity in live White Leghorns as an indicator for osteoporosis, a noninfectious disease resulting in mineral loss from the bone.

The objectives of the experiment were

  1. to assess the ability of densitometry to detect differences in bone integrity in live White Leghorns fed varying concentrations of dietary calcium and
  2. to correlate densitometric scans with other bone test methods and production parameters that are sensitive to calcium concentrations in the diet.

Hens were fed hypercalcemic (5.4%), control (3.6%), or hypocalcemic (1.8%) diets from 32 to 58 wk of age. A Norland densitometer was used to assess bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral content (BMC) of the left tibia and humerus in restrained, unanesthetized hens at 36, 46, and 56 wk of age (experiment 1) and at 38, 48, and 58 wk of age (experiment 2).

Bones were excised from hens at 38, 48, and 58 wk of age for breaking strength measurements. Results from the densitometric scans showed that BMD and BMC of the humerus and tibia of live hens decreased linearly when hens consumed diets with decreasing concentrations of calcium (experiment 2).

Similar trends in BMD and BMC were detected in experiment 1 at 36 wk of age using BW as a covariate. The results from the densitometric scans were comparable to those obtained from other bone tests commonly used.

For example, bone breaking force, stress, and modulus of elasticity decreased linearly as hens consumed decreasing concentrations of calcium. Bone breaking force was correlated with BMD (r = 0.65, P <0.001).

We concluded that densitometry accurately measures differences in BMD and BMC in live birds fed varying concentrations of dietary calcium.

The study is published in Poultry Science 82:1292-1301, August 2003 edition

Source: Poultry Science - August 2003