Bone Density Ultrasound Is Better Than DEXA

Osteoporosis is one of the most common skeletal diseases characterized by low bone mass and microarchitectural deterioration of bone tissue, with a resulting increase in bone fragility and susceptibility to fracture. Osteoporosis has been identified as a silent epidemic and therefore much effort is being focused towards its diagnosis and treatment. This occurs due to reduced bone strength during a period of asymptotic bone loss. Fracture either occurs spontaneously or after minimal trauma resulting from diminished mechanical bone weakness.

During the past decade, bone mineral analysis was performed with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry for diagnosis of osteoporosis. Ultrasound is a screening test that is used to find low bone density. Recently, bone density ultrasound techniques are being used for measuring bone density in the heels, fingers, and leg bones.DEXA is recommended to confirm the results. Bone density ultrasound uses sound waves to measure BMD. The method is quick, painless, and does not use potentially harmful radiation like X-rays. One disadvantage of ultrasound is it cannot measure the density of the bones most likely to fracture from osteoporosis (the hip and spine). Ultrasound test cannot be recommended to keep track of how well medicine for osteoporosis is working.

Recently, advanced ultrasound techniques, such as quantitative ultrasound (QUS) have been accepted as an alternative method for DXA in the diagnosis of osteoporosis. The quantitative ultrasound was first introduced in the eighties for the determination of bone density.

DXA focuses only on determining the bone mineral density (BMD), whereas bone density ultrasound provides information about the bone structure and composition that are not available when using DXA technique.


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