Bone density testing has achieved a prominent role in the evaluation of patients with or at risk for osteoporosis. The original bone methods for measuring bone density were developed several decades ago. The transition of these technologies from the research setting to the patient care arena began as the relationships between bone density and fracture risk were defined and when a definition of postmenopausal osteoporosis, based on bone density values, was provided. The availability of treatments to increase bone density and reduce fracture risk propelled bone density testing into the clinical limelight. Clinical guidelines advocate widespread use of bone density testing, and indications for osteoporosis treatment are now based on bone density values. The number of bone density machines in clinical use has markedly increased in the past 5 years. Testing is no longer confined to the specialist’ s office or radiology centers. Machines are in primary care clinics and in small communities, and testing is available in pharmacies and grocery stores and at health fairs. New technologies and devices have been developed, with each providing different types of information. An international society now exists to address the needs of the clinical bone density community.
KeywordsBone Mineral Density Bone Loss Femoral Neck Vertebral Fracture Fracture Risk
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