Volume 66 (2004) Issue 6 Pages 599-609
Bone mineral density (BMD), distribution of its density and bone histomorphometric parameters were evaluated in lumbar vertebra of normally growing miniature pigs. The fourth lumbar vertebra (L4) of the Göttingen miniature pig were used in this cross-sectional study in vitro. The BMD of the miniature pig was similar to that of humans in tendency of gender differences and some growth patterns during puberty. In these regards this animal appears useful as a model for human bone study. However, the trabecular and cortical BMDs of lumbar spine were extremely high value (399.43 ± 26.36 mg/cm3 in female trabeculae; 973.06 ± 69.55 mg/cm3 in female cortical bone; 419.04 ± 34.84 mg/cm3 in male trabeculae; 1038.81 ± 125.72 mg/cm3 in male cortical bone in pigs 30 months or more). Furthermore, histomorphometric analysis yielded values that were remarkably different from those found in humans. From these results, it was revealed that miniature pig had a higher bone mass and denser trabecular network than human, indicating that its bone is probably stronger. Therefore, care should be taken in choosing the miniature pig as a bone study model.