The Bone Strain Index: An Innovative Dual X-ray Absorptiometry Bone Strength Index and Its Helpfulness in Clinical Medicine

J Clin Med. 2022 Apr 20;11(9):2284. doi: 10.3390/jcm11092284.


Bone strain Index (BSI) is an innovative index of bone strength that provides information about skeletal resistance to loads not considered by existing indexes (Bone Mineral Density, BMD. Trabecular Bone Score, TBS. Hip Structural Analysis, HSA. Hip Axis Length, HAL), and, thus, improves the predictability of fragility fractures in osteoporotic patients. This improved predictability of fracture facilitates the possibility of timely intervention with appropriate therapies to reduce the risk of fracture. The development of the index was the result of combining clinical, radiographical and construction-engineering skills. In fact, from a physical point of view, primary and secondary osteoporosis, leading to bone fracture, are determined by an impairment of the physical properties of bone strength: density, internal structure, deformation and fatigue. Dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is the gold standard for assessing bone properties, and it allows measurement of the BMD, which is reduced mainly in primary osteoporosis, the structural texture TBS, which can be particularly degraded in secondary osteoporosis, and the bone geometry (HSA, HAL). The authors recently conceived and developed a new bone deformation index named Bone Strain Index (BSI) that assesses the resistance of bone to loads. If the skeletal structure is equated to engineering construction, these three indexes are all considered to determine the load resistance of the construct. In particular, BSI allows clinicians to detect critical information that BMD and TBS cannot explain, and this information is essential for an accurate definition of a patient's fracture risk. The literature demonstrates that both lumbar and femoral BSI discriminate fractured osteoporotic people, that they predict the first fragility fracture, and further fragility fractures, monitor anabolic treatment efficacy and detect patients affected by secondary osteoporosis. BSI is a new diagnostic tool that offers a unique perspective to clinical medicine to identify patients affected by primary and, specially, secondary osteoporosis. This literature review illustrates BSI's state of the art and its ratio in clinical medicine.

Keywords: BMD; Bone Strain Index; DXA; TBS.

Publication types

  • Review