Introduction: Computed tomography (CT) can be used to assess bone status with measurement of Hounsfield unit (HU). The objective of this study was to evaluate whether HU of muscle might be associated with parameters of bone and muscle status. Methods: We reviewed 71 women aged over 50 yr of age who had distal radius fracture and underwent CT evaluation of affected wrist. We assessed HUs of forearm flexor muscles (flexor digitorum superficialis) and thenar muscles and bone HUs at the capitate and the ulnar head. Other parameters included femur neck and lumbar bone mineral density (BMD), upper extremity lean mass, hand grip strength, and muscle fiber cross-sectional area. We performed correlation analyses to determine associations between variables. Results: Thenar and forearm muscle HUs were significantly correlated with each other, but not with other parameters. HUs of the capitate and ulnar head were positively correlated with femur neck and lumbar BMDs and inversely correlated with age. Ulnar head HU was positively correlated hand grip strength. Conclusions: HUs of forearm and thenar muscles did not show significant correlations with bone or muscle parameters, although bone HUs correlated well with bone mineral densities. These results support the opportunistic use of CT for evaluating bone fragility. Clinical usefulness of muscle HU measurement needs further studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-93
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Densitometry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Computed tomography
  • Hounsfield unit
  • distal radius
  • osteoporosis
  • sarcopenia

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