Stability of Metacarpal II dimensions in boys during adolescence
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The stability of radiogrammetrically determined Metacarpal II (M II) bone dimensions was determined in 184 Belgian boys between 13 and 18 years of age. Stability was assessed by Fisher z transformations of Pearson correlations between discrete measurement intervals and by structured covariance analysis incorporating compound, banded, and autoregressive models. Adjacent-age stability (1-year measurement interval) was high (0.82 ⩽ r ⩽ 0.97) for all metacarpal dimensions for all approaches, but stability coefficients decreased with increasing measurement interval for the correlational, banded, and autoregressive analyses. Despite the interval-related decline, correlations remained moderate to high, ranging between 0.65 and 0.97 for the correlational analyses and 0.58 and 0.91 for the covariance analyses, indicating a moderate to high degree of stability of M II dimensions in males during adolescence. Periosteal diameter demonstrated the greatest stability of all metacarpal variables for all statistical analyses. Of the covariance models, the compound model provided the poorest fit to the data, and only for metacarpal length and periosteal diameter did the more complex (6 parameters) banded model provide a significantly better fit than the simpler (2 parameters) autoregressive model. These results indicate that M II bone dimenions are fairly stable in males between 13 and 18 years of age and that the autoregressive model, with the exception of metacarpal length and periosteal diameter, provides as good a fit to the metacarpal data as the more complex banded model. © 1994 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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