Axial CT in the diagnosis of osteoporosis

Giuseppe Guglielmi, Silvana Muscarella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Quantitative computed tomography (QCT) is an established technique for measuring bone mineral density (BMD) in the axial spine and appendicular skeleton (forearm, tibia). It provides cross-sectional images, so that it is uniquely able to provide separate estimates of trabecular and cortical bone BMD as well as a true volumetric mineral density in grams per cubic centimeter. However, because of the high responsiveness of spinal trabecular bone and its importance for vertebral strength, it has been principally employed to determine trabecular BMD in the vertebral body. QCT has been used for assessment of vertebral fracture risk, measurement of age-related bone loss, and follow-up of osteoporosis and other metabolic bone diseases. QCT has a better sensitivity to predict vertebral fracture than projectional methods like DXA, due to its ability to isolate and measure trabecular bone in the center of vertebral body. This mini-review deals with the current capabilities of axial QCT and the recent technical developments, including volumetric acquisition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-112
Number of pages3
JournalClinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2005



  • Bone Mineral Density (BMD)
  • Spinal quantitative computed tomography (QCT)
  • Volumetric QCT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Internal Medicine

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