Using 125-I single photon absorptiometry, bone mineral measurements were performed on 206 healthy Japanese children (2 to 19 years of age). Bone mineral content (BMC), bone width (BW) and BMC/BW values were determined for the radius at distal 1/6 site (metaphysis) and distal 1/3 site (diaphysis). BMC/BW values at both sites correlated well with body height and weight. Bone mass in the diaphysis (distal 1/3 site) increased linearly during the 2-19 years of skeletal growth, but bone mass in the metaphysis (1/6 site) increased steeply during the pubertal period. In children receiving glucocorticoid therapy, bone mass was reduced in proportion to the duration of drug administration. In children under anticonvulsant therapy, the yearly increase in bone mass was significantly low especially in those patients with poor physical activity levels. Bone mineral decrease in the radius occurred in the children with hypopituitalism, hypothyroidism (cretinism), hyperthyroidism and Turner's syndrome.