BMC and Transmission Imaging

The modified scanning geometry in the WBC made it possible to do whole body transmission as well as emission and K-40 body composition studies. Ron and the group published the first whole body bone mineral content scans in 1976. This was novel in that not only did it determine bone mineral (primarily Ca and P) content, but it was also calibrated so that one could estimate regional calcium content. This was accomplished using data obtained from three subjects (REJ, ND, and ABB), who went to BNL where they served as normal volunteers for calcium determination by NAA to compare the results with those that were being measured in patients with various mineral metabolism diseases. Each of the subjects was neutron activated during a short, several minute exposure to a distributed Pu/Be source. Immediately thereafter, each was counted in the BNL multi crystal whole body counter for induced Ca-49. BNL was interested because they needed normal values for use in their body composition studies.
Quant_Imaging_TableIt turned out that 2 of the 3 results fell in the normal range, while ABB was at the upper limit of normal, short of levels measured in acromegaly patients who have significantly increased calcium pools. The increased level in ABB correlated with radiological evidence of extensive bone spurs. In subsequent bone mineral density with a clinical Lunar machine, also showed an elevated reading for ABB, 1.32 g/cm2 with a significantly elevated z-score of 2.3. Earlier bone mineral density measurements had been made at VU, but the original results were not found. More data are given in Ken Larsen’s 1978 thesis.