Bone imaging and chronic kidney disease: will high-resolution peripheral tomography improve bone evaluation and therapeutic management?

J Ren Nutr. 2009 Jan;19(1):44-9. doi: 10.1053/j.jrn.2008.10.023.


Bone damage because of chronic kidney disease (CKD) represents a daily challenge for nephrologists. The impact of CKD on bone health may be immediate (serum phosphocalcic disturbances) or delayed (bone fractures and vascular calcifications). Histomorphometry remains the gold standard to evaluate bone, but it is rarely performed in clinical practice. Areal measurement of bone mineral density by dual x-ray absorptiometry is routinely performed to evaluate bone mass. However, this technique presents some limitations. In 2000, the United States National Institutes of Health defined new "quality" criteria for the diagnosis of osteoporosis in addition to decreased bone mass. Bone strength actually integrates two concepts: bone quantity and bone quality (i.e., microarchitectural organization, bone turnover, bone material properties such as mineralization, collagen traits, and microdamage) that cannot be evaluated by dual x-ray absorptiometry. New three-dimensional, noninvasive bone-imaging techniques have thus been developed, e.g., high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography. High-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography allows evaluation of both volumetric density and microarchitecture in different compartments of bone, at the distal radius and tibia. High-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography may be useful in predicting fractures and assessing bone preventive or therapeutic strategies in CKD patients. It should be evaluated in long-term, longitudinal follow-ups.

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon / methods*
  • Bone Density / physiology*
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / diagnosis
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / diagnostic imaging*
  • Bone and Bones* / diagnostic imaging
  • Bone and Bones* / physiology
  • Bone and Bones* / ultrastructure
  • Fractures, Bone / etiology
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Radius / diagnostic imaging
  • Tibia / diagnostic imaging
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use


  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Vitamin D