An Advanced Quantitative Echosound Methodology for Femoral Neck Densitometry

Ultrasound Med Biol. 2016 Jun;42(6):1337-56. doi: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2016.01.024. Epub 2016 Mar 28.


The aim of this paper was to investigate the clinical feasibility and the accuracy in femoral neck densitometry of the Osteoporosis Score (O.S.), an ultrasound (US) parameter for osteoporosis diagnosis that has been recently introduced for lumbar spine applications. A total of 377 female patients (aged 61-70 y) underwent both a femoral dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and an echographic scan of the proximal femur. Recruited patients were sub-divided into a reference database used for ultrasound spectral model construction and a study population for repeatability assessments and accuracy evaluations. Echographic images and radiofrequency signals were analyzed through a fully automatic algorithm that performed a series of combined spectral and statistical analyses, providing as a final output the O.S. value of the femoral neck. Assuming DXA as a gold standard reference, the accuracy of O.S.-based diagnoses resulted 94.7%, with k = 0.898 (p < 0.0001). Significant correlations were also found between O.S.-estimated bone mineral density and corresponding DXA values, with r(2) up to 0.79 and root mean square error = 5.9-7.4%. The reported accuracy levels, combined with the proven ease of use and very good measurement repeatability, provide the adopted method with a potential for clinical routine application in osteoporosis diagnosis.

Keywords: Bone Densitometry; Bone Mineral Density Measurement; Femoral Neck; Osteoporosis diagnosis; Quantitative Ultrasound; Radiofrequency Signal Analysis.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon / methods
  • Aged
  • Bone Density
  • Densitometry / methods
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Femur Neck / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Ultrasonography / methods*