Authors:S. Krishnan, J. Mernagh, A. Hitchman, K. McNeill, and J. Harrison
A procedure has been developed to measure fluoride concentration in bone biopsies by neutron activation analysis /NAA/. The NAA procedure is non-destructive so that the bone biopsies can be used subsequently for histological evaluation. The fluoride content is expressed as F/Ca ratio in the bone samples. The fluoride and calcium are measured using the reactions:19F/n, /20F /t=11.2 s/ and48Ca/n,/49Ca/t=8.8 m/, respectively. The F/Ca ratio normalizes the fluoride to bone mineral avoiding the use of bone weight which is unreliable with fresh biopsy samples. This ratio also corrects for variations in neutron flux and gamma counting efficiencies. Results by this procedure were compared to biochemical determinations using an ion-selective electrode for fluoride and atomic absorption for calcium. The two methods gave results which agreed within ±5% which is the precision of the NNA procedure. The NAA method provides a simple and non-destructive procedure for fluoride measurement in bone biopsies for clinical studies. The method is now routinely used in our clinical studies for the fluoride measurements on biopsies from osteoporotic patients treated with fluoride therapy for nearly four years.