Changes in QUS and BMD measurements with antiresorptive therapy: A two-year longitudinal study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


There is lack of consensus on whether quantitative ultrasound (QUS), measurements can be used to monitor response to therapy. The aim of this 2-year longitudinal study was to assess, whether calcaneal QUS measurement variables respond to antiresorptive therapy and whether these measurements display adequate long-term precision to be useful for monitoring purposes. The study population consisted of 195 postmenopausal women divided into three groups: Group 1: 39 women treated with antiresorptive therapy who commenced treatment at baseline; Group 2: 25 women treated with antiresorptive therapy who had been on treatment for at least 2 years at baseline; Group 3: 131 women who did not taken estrogen, bisphosphonates, or calcium during the 2-year study period. Subjects had baseline and 12 and 24 months follow-up BMD measurements at the lumbar spine (LS), femoral neck (FN), and total hip (THIP), and calcaneal QUS measurements of broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA) and speed of sound (SOS). BUA and SOS were combined to provide an estimate of heel BMD (Est heel BMD). For women in Group 1, all BMD and QUS measurement variables increased significantly from baseline after 2 years of treatment. For women in Group 2, only THIP BMD and BUA increased significantly after 2 years and the changes were less than those observed in Group 1, women. The overall treatment effect for each measurement variable, defined as the difference in the mean absolute changes between Groups I and 3 after 2 years, was 0.08, 0.03, and 0.04 g/cm(2) for LS, FN, and THIP BMD, and for BUA, SOS, and Est heel BMD it was 5.8 dB/MHz, 13.1 m/sec, and 0.05, g/cm(2), respectively. When the overall treatment effect was expressed in T-score, units, the effect was greatest for LS BMD (0.65 T-score units), and lowest for FN BMD (0.31 T-score units). QUS measurement variables yielded intermediate values of 0.43- 0.52 T-score units. The average least significant change (1,K) was 0.38 T-score units for BMD measurements, whereas the LSC for QUS measurements was three times greater at approximately 1.20 T-score units. Ninety-four percent of the women in Group 1 showed changes in LS BMD that exceeded the LSC after two years, while the percentage was lower for the other measurement variables ranging from approximately 60% for FN BMD, SOS, and Est heel BMD to 50 % for THIP BMD. A lower percentage of women in Groups 2 and 3 displayed changes that exceeded the LSC for both BMD and QUS measurement variables. Changes in all QUS variables were significantly correlated with changes in LS BMD, with correlation coefficients ranging from 0.26 to 0.40. In conclusion, calcaneal QUS measurement variables were found to show a highly significant response to antiresorptive therapy. However, the precision of QUS measurements was not good enough to allow QUS to be used for monitoring response to treatment. Future improvements in the precision of calcaneal QUS measurements, are required to increase the utility of QUS for monitoring purposes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138 - 146
Number of pages9
JournalCalcified Tissue International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001


Dive into the research topics of 'Changes in QUS and BMD measurements with antiresorptive therapy: A two-year longitudinal study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this