Osteoporosis is a skeletal disease that occurs as a result of a decrease in bone density, causing bones to become weak and brittle. As a result, even day-to-day activities can lead to fragility fractures. Often, osteoporosis is not diagnosed until a patient experiences such a fracture. Due to the serious complications that frequently arise from fractures, early diagnosis of osteoporosis and fracture prevention are key areas of clinical focus. For patients at risk, a bone density examination can determine the status of the patient's bone structure so that the clinician can implement appropriate interventions. The types of bone density examination most commonly used are dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), quantitative computed tomography, and quantitative ultrasound. Each method has advantages and disadvantages. Although DXA and quantitative computed tomography both scan the hips and lumbar spine, each examination measures bone structures differently. With either method, the technologist must understand factors that can impact overall results and recognize the areas of bone that are affected by the disease process.
After reading this article, the participant should be able to:
- Identify indicators that suggest the need for a bone density examination.
- Define the different anatomy that needs to be scanned.
- Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the various bone density examinations.
- Perform bone density reporting using T-scores and Z-scores.
Category: Radiography, Sonography/Ultrasound