Bone densitometry scan

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Bone densitometry scan in clinical practice

Osteoporosis is a systemic disease of the skeleton. Osteoporosis is characterized by a decrease in bone mass with microarchitectural disorders of bone tissue, leading to an increased risk of fractures. Osteoporosis is based on the loss of bone mineral density and mass, which occurs gradually, latently, and is often diagnosed after fractures, which gave reason to call osteoporosis a "silent epidemic".

Densitometry is a procedure for measuring bone density if osteoporosis is suspected.

In the world, the prevalence of diseases of the musculoskeletal system is growing. Fractures of the bones (femoral neck, vertebral body) due to osteoporosis have practically doubled over the past decade - already in 1990, the number of hip fractures among the inhabitants of the Earth, according to estimates of experts in the field of mathematical modeling, was 1.7 million cases, in our years - 2.5 million, and by 2050 this figure could reach 6 million.

In the Russian Federation, due to the small number of densitometers, there are no complete statistics on osteoporosis based on the criteria of the World Health Organization (WHO), based on densitometry data. Among people over 50 years of age, every tenth has a compression fracture of the vertebral body, every 200th - a fracture of the distal forearm, and every thousandth - a fracture of the femoral neck.


Determination of osteoporosis according to the study of bone mineral density

  • Osteoporosis - bone mineral density is 2.5 standard deviations or more of peak bone mass (T-score is equal to or less than -2.5). Women in this group who have one or more fractures are considered to have severe or severe osteoporosis.
  • Low bone mass (osteopenia) is a bone mineral density between 1 and 2.5 standard deviations of peak bone mass (T-score between -1 and -2.5).
  • Norm - bone mineral density within one standard deviation from the "young" adult norm (T-score and greater than or equal to -1).

The procedure for measuring bone density when osteoporosis is suspected is called densitometry. Densitometry is performed using special measuring equipment.

The danger of osteoporosis lies in its possible complication - in a pathological fracture of the affected bone or groups of bones.

The most common situation, known to everyone, is compression fractures of the vertebral bodies or a fracture of the hip neck associated with osteoporosis in the elderly. Against the background of a thinning of the density of one vertebra or several vertebrae, its height decreases, or a so-called compression fracture is formed.

Compression fracture of the thoracic vertebral body, side view.

For an elderly person with osteoporosis to have such a compression fracture of the spine, it is enough to just awkwardly sit on a hard surface. If an elderly person with osteoporosis accidentally stumbles and falls or tosses and turns in bed, he may have a pathological hip fracture.