Bone specimens from a standardized area of the iliac crest were obtained at autopsy in 105 individuals after sudden unexpected death and at biopsy in 30 living volunteers. Seven micron thick sections of the plmtic embedded undecalcified material were produced and stained. The amount of cancellous and cortical bone and the parameters attached to description of bone remodelling were determined by point counting and simple measurements, in order to establish normal mean values and range in a Danish population. A decrease in the amount of bone, trabecular as well as cortical, was found with increasing age in both males and females. The extent, volume and widtth of oyteoid seams and the osteoclastic resorption were found to be age-independent. The osteoclastic resorption in cortical bone in males decreased, however, with increasing age. 'The reported values are of the greatest importance for the use of histomorphometric analysis of bone biopsies as a diagnostic tool in metabolic bone diseases. It is Ytressed, however, that supplemenctary information of the dynamic aspects of the bone remodelling would be necessary for the understanding of the pathogenesis of bone changes. Such iaformation might he obtained by using tetracycline double labelling.
Keywords: Iliac crest ; bone structure ; histoaorphometric studies