Bone densitometry is a simple, quick and cost-effective method to determine osteoporosis and, with proper and timely therapy measures, prevent a serious disease.
With osteopenia (= low bone mass) and osteoporosis, the number of trabeculae inside the bone (cancellous bone) decreases. And the cortical bone (outer bone layer) will also often get thinner with time in comparison to a healthy bone. This can lead to bone fractures or bone loss often affecting the vertebral bodies.
In order to express this bone loss in values and figures, the World Health Organization (WHO) established certain limits and measured values that are based on decades of experience.
Today, bone densitometry (osteodensitometry) can facilitate a diagnosis before a bone fracture occurs. Generally, there are 2 procedures to measure the bone density: the DXA or DEXA procedure (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) and the quantitative computer tomography (QCT).
A DXA examination is not recommended for patients with hip prostheses and related advanced wear signs of the spinal column.
We use the quantitative computer tomography (QCT) for bone density measurements. The advantage of this method is its excellent repetition accuracy and ability to display and measure bones in multiple dimensions. Typically, quantitative computer tomography (QCT) measures three vertebral bodies.