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The clinical use of quantitative ultrasound (QUS) in the detection and management of osteoporosis

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2 Author(s)
Hans, D. ; Dept. of Bone & Joint, Lausanne Univ. Hosp., Lausanne ; Krieg, M.-A.

For the detection and management of osteoporosis and osteoporosis-related fractures, quantitative ultrasound (QUS) is emerging as a relatively low-cost and readily accessible alternative to dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) measurement of bone mineral density (BMD) in certain circumstances. The following is a brief, but thorough review of the existing literature with respect to the use of QUS in 6 settings: 1) assessing fragility fracture risk; 2) diagnosing osteoporosis; 3) initiating osteoporosis treatment; 4) monitoring osteoporosis treatment; 5) osteoporosis case finding; and 6) quality assurance and control. Many QUS devices exist that are quite different with respect to the parameters they measure and the strength of empirical evidence supporting their use. In general, heel QUS appears to be most tested and most effective. Overall, some, but not all, heel QUS devices are effective assessing fracture risk in some, but not all, populations, the evidence being strongest for Caucasian females over 55 years old. Otherwise, the evidence is fair with respect to certain devices allowing for the accurate diagnosis of likelihood of osteoporosis, and generally fair to poor in terms of QUS use when initiating or monitoring osteoporosis treatment. A reasonable protocol is proposed herein for case-finding purposes, which relies on a combined assessment of clinical risk factors (CR.F) and heel QUS. Finally, several recommendations are made for quality assurance and control.

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Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:55 ,  Issue: 7 )