Quantitative ultrasound technique at the phalanges in discriminating between uremic and osteoporotic patients

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This study was conducted to test the ability of quantitative ultrasound technique (QUS) at the phalanges to discriminate between uremic and osteoporotic patients. Three groups of subjects (38 dialytic women, 16 osteoporotic women with vertebral fractures, 19 non-dialytic and non-fractured women) were recruited at the Department of Radiology at "Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza" Hospital, San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy. The groups were matched for age and body mass index (BMI). On all subjects the following measurements were performed: spinal BMD by QCT and by DXA, Femoral BMD by DXA, phalangeal QUS. For QUS measurements, the DBM Sonic (IGEA, Carpi, Italy) was applied to the metaphysis of the proximal phalanges of the last four fingers of the hand. Osteoporotic women with vertebral fractures showed significantly lower values of spinal BMD by QCT and DXA and Ward's Triangle BMD with respect to hemodialytic patients (p <0.005). All QUS values, except for BTT and SoS, showed lower values in osteoporotic women with respect to hemodialytic patients (p <0.05). Control group showed higher values of AD-SoS, BTT and SoS than hemodialytic patients (p <0.005) while the two groups did not differ for BMD values measured with both QCT and DXA. UBPI and FWA data showed a similar behaviour to DXA and QCT results, whereas BTT and SoS showed a completely different behaviour. AD-SoS was the only parameter that could effectively discriminate among the three groups (ANOVA, p <0.0001). We conclude that phalangeal QUS can discriminate between hemodialysed patients and controls with similar bone mineral density, and can also discriminate between hemodialysed and osteoporotic subjects with vertebral fractures. Different characteristics of ultrasound signal can be ascribed to each bone tissue condition, enabling a clear differentiation of bone tissue changes occurring in menopause, osteoporosis and renal osteodystrophy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-114
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006



  • Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry
  • Quantitative computed tomography
  • Quantitative ultrasound
  • Uremic and osteoporotic patients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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