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Heel bone densitometry: device specific thresholds for the assessment of osteoporosis

Regional Medical Physics Department, University Hospital of North Durham, North Road, Durham DH1 5TW, UK.
British Journal of Radiology (Impact Factor: 2.02). 07/2006; 79(942):464-7. DOI: 10.1259/bjr/47352663
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A diagnosis of osteoporosis is facilitated by bone mineral density (BMD) measurement of the lumbar spine and hip using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), interpreted in accordance with criteria published by the World Health Organization (WHO). The use of peripheral DXA is growing in primary care and guidance on its use has recently been published by the National Osteoporosis Society (NOS), recommending a triage approach using thresholds specific to each type of peripheral device. However, no data currently exist for the Norland Apollo heel densitometer (Cooper Surgical, Trumbull, USA). 215 women between 50 years and 75 years of age (mean age 64.6 years) referred for hip and spine BMD measurements also had a heel BMD measurement. Device specific upper and lower thresholds were calculated for the Norland Apollo heel densitometer to give a 90% sensitivity and 90% specificity for osteoporosis at the hip or spine. Patients with a heel T-score of above -1.2 are very likely to have normal bone density on axial densitometry, whilst patients with heel T-score of below -2.2 are very likely to have osteoporosis at the hip or spine. Patients whose measurements lie between the thresholds should be referred for axial DXA.

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    • "Bone mineral density (BMD) was obtained at the peripheral DXA in calcaneus using a portable Norland Apollo Densitometer®. Osteoporosis was considered when subjects had a BMD of 2.5 standard deviations (SD) or more below the mean value for young adults (T score, ≥2.5) [17]. "
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