Clinical use of opportunistic computed tomography screening for osteoporosis

Paul A. Anderson, David W. Polly, Neil C. Binkley, Perry J. Pickhardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


ä Opportunistic use of computed tomography (CT) allows assessment of bone status from studies obtained for other purposes. ä The linear x-ray attenuation coefficient is known as the Hounsfield unit (HU). ä HU values can be determined for any region of interest using standard imaging software. ä HU values strongly correlate with bone mineral density. ä A threshold of <135 HU for the L1 vertebral body indicates a risk for osteoporosis. ä HU values have been used to assess other bone regions, including the wrist, proximal and distal end of the femur, and sacrum, to predict future fracture and the presence of osteoporosis. ä Opportunistic use of CT aids in the identification of patients who are not otherwise suspected to be at risk for osteoporosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2073-2081
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - American Volume
Issue number23
StatePublished - 2018

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Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2018 By The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated


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