Int J Sports Med 2023; 44(06): 420-426
DOI: 10.1055/a-1928-9824
Physiology & Biochemistry

Femur 3D-DXA Assessment in Female Football Players, Swimmers, and Sedentary Controls

Amineh Amani
1   Cellular Biology, Physiology and Immunology, Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat de Biologia, Barcelona, Spain
2   Centre Mèdic, CETIR, Barcelona, Spain
Montse Bellver
3   Sports Medicine, Centre Alt Rendiment Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain
Luis del Rio
2   Centre Mèdic, CETIR, Barcelona, Spain
Joan Ramon Torrella
1   Cellular Biology, Physiology and Immunology, Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat de Biologia, Barcelona, Spain
Antonia Lizarraga
4   Medical Services, Futbol Club Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
Ludovic Humbert
5   Musculoskeletal Unit, Galgo Medical, Barcelona, Spain
Franchek Drobnic
3   Sports Medicine, Centre Alt Rendiment Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain
6   Medical Department, Shanghai Shenhau FC, Shanghai, China
› Author Affiliations


Cortical and trabecular volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD), cortical thickness and surface BMD (sBMD, density-to-thickness ratio) were analyzed in the proximal femur of elite female football players and artistic swimmers using three-dimensional dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (3D-DXA) software and compared to sedentary controls. Football players had significantly higher (p<0.05) vBMD (mg/cm3) in the trabecular (263±44) and cortical femur (886±69) than artistic swimmers (224±43 and 844±89) and sedentary controls (215±51 and 841±85). Football players had also higher (p<0.05) cortical thickness (2.12±0.19 mm) and sBMD (188±22 mg/cm2) compared to artistic swimmers (1.85±0.15 and 156±21) and sedentary controls (1.87±0.16 and 158±23). Artistic swimmers did not show significant differences in any parameter analyzed for 3D-DXA when compared to sedentary controls. The 3D-DXA modeling revealed statistical differences in cortical thickness and vBMD between female athletes engaged in weight-bearing (football) and non-weight bearing (swimming) sports and did not show differences between the non-weight bearing sport and the sedentary controls. 3D-DXA modeling could provide insight into bone remodeling in the sports field, allowing evaluation of femoral trabecular and cortical strength from standard DXA scans.

Publication History

Received: 21 April 2022

Accepted: 11 August 2022

Accepted Manuscript online:
22 August 2022

Article published online:
20 March 2023

© 2023. Thieme. All rights reserved.

Georg Thieme Verlag
Rüdigerstraße 14, 70469 Stuttgart, Germany

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