Bone mineral density and quantative imaging

Giuseppe Guglielmi, Fabio Ferrari, Alberto Bazzocchi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Quantitative imaging methods are widely used in the evaluation of bone metabolic status and to diagnose and to manage diseases of huge epidemiological, clinical, and economic impact, such as osteoporosis. Bone mineral density (BMD) is still the major factor in clinical determination of bone strength. The central technique in the imaging flowchart of metabolic bone diseases is dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Special consideration also deserves quantitative ultrasound (QUS), due to its relationships with fracture risks and to specific advantages. Quantitative computed tomography (QCT) and peripheral QCT equipments are also promising tools for the analysis of bone density and bone architectural properties and to bring such advanced analysis near clinical practice in the next future. On the other hand, magnetic resonance (MR)-based techniques are still confined to the research field. In quantitative imaging, the execution of the examination is particularly important because (a) the key point of the scan is the “measurement” and not qualitative evaluation of images; therefore, the evaluation is mainly given on the basis of acquired measures, and (b) it is often difficult to understand the presence and effect of errors after the results (measures) are obtained. This chapter describes and analyzes potential pitfalls in the execution and interpretation of quantitative imaging techniques involved in the field of bone metabolic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPitfalls in Diagnostic Radiology
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)9783662441695, 9783662441688
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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