Quantitative ultrasound techniques for the assessment of osteoporosis: expert agreement on current status. The International Quantitative Ultrasound Consensus Group

J Bone Miner Res. 1997 Aug;12(8):1280-8. doi: 10.1359/jbmr.1997.12.8.1280.


Quantitative ultrasound (QUS) methods have been introduced in recent years for the assessment of skeletal status in osteoporosis. The performance of QUS techniques has been evaluated in a large number of studies. Reviewing existing knowledge, an international expert panel formulated the following consensus regarding the current status of this technology. To date, evidence supports the use of QUS techniques for the assessment of fracture risk in elderly women. This has been best established for water-based calcaneal QUS systems. Future studies should include the predictive validity of other QUS systems. Additional clinical applications of QUS, specifically the assessment of rates of change for monitoring disease progression or response to treatment, require further investigation. Its low cost and portability make QUS an attractive technology for assessing risk of fractures in larger populations than may be suitable or feasible for bone densitometry. Additional investigations that assess innovative QUS techniques in well defined research settings are important to determine and utilize the full potential of this technology for the benefit of early detection and monitoring of osteoporosis.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Bone Density / physiology
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / epidemiology
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • International Cooperation
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / complications
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / diagnostic imaging*
  • Reference Standards
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Assessment
  • Ultrasonography