[Clinical utility of quantitative bone ultrasonography in the staging of osteoporosis]

Rev Med Suisse Romande. 2002 Aug;122(8):399-402.
[Article in French]


Osteoporosis is well recognized as a public health problem in industrialized countries. Because of the efficiency of new treatments to decrease fracture risk, it is of a major interest to detect the patients who should benefit from such treatments. A diagnosis of osteoporosis is necessary before to start a specific treatment. This diagnosis is based on the measurement of the skeleton (hip and spine) with dual X-ray absorptiometry, using diagnostic criteria established by the World Health Organisation (WHO). In Switzerland, indications for bone densitometry are limited to precise situations. This technique cannot be applied for screening. For this purpose, peripheral measurements and particularly quantitative ultrasounds of bone seem to be promising. Indeed, several prospective studies clearly showed their predictive power for hip fracture risk in women aged more than 65 years. In order to facilitate the clinical use of bone ultrasounds, thresholds of risk of fracture and osteoporosis of the hip will be shortly published. This will integrate bone ultrasound in a global concept including bone densitometry and its indications, but also other risk factors for osteoporosis recognized by the Swiss association against osteoporosis (ASCO).

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bone Density
  • Densitometry
  • Female
  • Hip Fractures / etiology*
  • Hip Fractures / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Osteoporosis / complications
  • Osteoporosis / diagnosis
  • Osteoporosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Ultrasonography / methods*