Different approaches to bone densitometry

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From 1990 to 2000, several effective new treatments were introduced for the prevention of osteoporotic fractures; these treatments were proven effective in large, international, clinical trials. At the same time, there was rapid technologic innovation, with the introduction of new radiologic methods for the noninvasive assessment of patients' bone density status. These developments led to the publication of guidelines for the clinical use of bone densitometry that include criteria for the referral of patients for investigation as well as recommendations for intervention thresholds for the initiation of preventive treatment of osteoporosis. Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scanning of the spine and hip remains the technique of choice for bone densitometry studies, although there is now a wider appreciation of the need for smaller, cheaper devices for scanning the peripheral skeleton if the millions of women most at risk of a fragility fracture are to be identified and treated. This article reviews these developments, concentrating in particular on the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of equipment available for performing bone densitometry investigations, the guidelines for the referral of patients, and the principles for the interpretation of the scan findings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2015 - 2025
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2000


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