A new method for quantitative ultrasound measurements at multiple skeletal sites: first results of precision and fracture discrimination

J Clin Densitom. 2000 Spring;3(1):1-7. doi: 10.1385/jcd:3:1:001.


We investigated a new multisite quantitative ultrasound device that measures the acoustic velocity in axial transmission mode along the cortex. Using a prototype of the Omnisense (Sunlight Ultrasound Technologies, Rehovot, Israel), we tested the performance of this instrument at four sites of the skeleton: radius, ulna, metacarpal, and phalanx. Intraobserver (interobserver) precision errors ranged from 0.2% to 0.3% (0.3% to 0.7%) for triplicate measurements with repositioning. Fracture discrimination was tested by comparing a group of 34 women who had previously suffered a fracture of the hip, spine, ankle, or forearm to a group of 28 healthy women who had not suffered a fracture. Age-adjusted standardized odds ratios ranged from 1.6 to 4.5. Except for the ulna the sites showed a significant fracture discrimination (p < 0.01). The areas under the receiver operating curves (ROC) curves were from 0.88 to 0.89 for radius, metacarpal, and phalanx. A combination of the results from the three sites showed a significant increase of the ROC area to 0.95 (p < 0. 05). Our results show promising performance of this new device. The ability to measure a large variety of sites and the potential to combine these measurements are promising with regard to optimizing fracture risk assessment.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bone and Bones / diagnostic imaging*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Observer Variation
  • Osteoporosis / complications
  • Osteoporosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Pilot Projects
  • ROC Curve
  • Ultrasonography / instrumentation*
  • Ultrasonography / statistics & numerical data