Phalangeal ultrasonography in forearm fracture discrimination

R. Giardino, R. Rotini, F. Noia, C. A. Veronesi, A. Carpi, A. Nicolini, F. De Terlizzi, M. Fini, G. Giavaresi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over the last decade, the use of ultrasounds has been developed into an effective tool for investigating bone tissue and predicting the risk of fracture in osteoporosis. Studies have focused on hip and vertebral fractures while no information is available on the use of phalangeal ultrasonography to identify patients with forearm fractures. Thus, the current authors decided to compare 50 postmenopausal women with low energy forearm fractures (Fractured Group) with a control age-matched group of 94 women (Control Group). Measurements were taken at the distal metaphysis of the proximal phalanxes of the hand of the non-fractured arm using the DBM Sonic Bone Profiler. The reproducibility of the method was assessed by amplitude-dependent speed of sound (AD-SoS) CV% = 0.64 and by Ultrasound Bone Profiler Index (UBPI) CV% = 2.38. In the Control Group, the AD-SoS and UBPI mean values and standard deviations were significantly higher compared to the group with fractures (P <0.0005). The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were calculated and the areas under the curve (AUC) were 0.78 ± 0.04 for AD-SoS and 0.77 ± 0.05 for UBPI, respectively. Logistic regression analysis adjusted to age revealed that both AD-SoS (78.2%, ORAD-SoS = 12.03, P <0.0005) and UBPI (76.0%, ORAD-SoS = 7.39, P <0.0005) parameters discriminated correctly between fractured and non-fractured control women whereas the association of both parameters could not allow better discrimination. The present results showed that ultrasound investigation at the phalanxes is reproducible and efficiently discriminates between subjects with forearm fractures and those in the control subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)332-338
Number of pages7
JournalBiomedicine and Pharmacotherapy
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2002


  • Forearm fracture
  • Osteoporosis
  • Quantitative ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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