Calcium-41: a technology for monitoring changes in bone mineral

C. M. Weaver, B. R. Martin, G. S. Jackson, G. P. McCabe, M. Peacock, M. Wastney

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

4 Scopus citations


The rare, long-lived radiotracer, 41Ca, measured by accelerator mass spectrometry in the urine or serum following incorporation into the bone provides an ultra-sensitive tool to assess changes in bone calcium balance in response to an intervention. Changes in bone balance can be followed for years with one small dose that is both radiologically and biologically non-invasive. Sequential interventions can be compared, with greater precision than they can with biochemical markers of bone turnover and with greater power than with bone densitometry. This method is especially useful to screen interventions over a period of weeks. The development and validation of this tool and its applications are reviewed. Mini abstract: Use of 41Ca measured in the urine or blood by accelerator mass spectrometry to assess bone balance provides a tool to compare the relative efficacy of multiple interventions. This perspective provides insights in the use of this novel method and comparisons with more traditional methods for evaluating the efficacy of interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1215-1223
Number of pages9
JournalOsteoporosis International
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • Ca
  • Calcium balance
  • Calcium bone turnover

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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