Appropriate use of bone densitometry

Radiology. 1989 Mar;170(3 Pt 1):817-22. doi: 10.1148/radiology.170.3.2916037.


The authors discuss current capabilities of three common bone densitometry techniques--single photon absorptiometry, dual photon absorptiometry, and quantitative computed tomography--and potential capabilities of new innovations of each of these techniques. They believe that use of bone densitometry is valid in the following four clinical applications and recommend its usage to (a) assess patients with metabolic diseases known to affect the skeleton, (b) assess perimenopausal women for initiation of estrogen replacement therapy, (c) establish a diagnosis of osteoporosis or assess its severity in the context of general clinical care, and (d) monitor the efficacy of treatment interventions or the natural course of disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / diagnosis*
  • Bone and Bones / anatomy & histology*
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism
  • Densitometry / methods*
  • Estrogens / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Menopause
  • Minerals / analysis
  • Osteoporosis / diagnosis*
  • Osteoporosis / prevention & control
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Estrogens
  • Minerals