Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is a technology that is widely used to diagnose osteoporosis, assess fracture risk, and monitor changes in bone mineral density (BMD). The clinical utility of DXA is highly dependent on the quality of the scan acquisition, analysis, and interpretation. Clinicians are best equipped to manage patients when BMD measurements are correct and interpretation follows well-established standards. Poor-quality acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of DXA data may mislead referring clinicians, resulting in unnecessary diagnostic evaluations, failure to evaluate when needed, inappropriate treatment, or failure to provide medical treatment, with potentially ineffective, harmful, or costly consequences. Misallocation of limited healthcare resources and poor treatment decisions can be minimized, and patient care optimized, through meticulous attention to DXA instrument calibration, data acquisition and analysis, interpretation, and reporting. This document from the International Society for Clinical Densitometry describes quality standards for BMD testing at DXA facilities worldwide to provide guidance for DXA supervisors, technologists, interpreters, and clinicians. High-quality DXA testing is necessary for correct diagnostic classification and optimal fracture risk assessment, and is essential for BMD monitoring.
The fracture risk assessment tool (FRAX(®)) has been developed for the identification of individuals with high risk of fracture in whom treatment to prevent fractures would be appropriate. FRAX models are not yet available for all countries or ethnicities, but surrogate models can be used within regions with similar fracture risk. The International Society for Clinical Densitometry (ISCD) and International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) are nonprofit multidisciplinary international professional organizations. Their visions are to advance the awareness, education, prevention, and treatment of osteoporosis. In November 2010, the IOF/ISCD FRAX initiative was held in Bucharest, bringing together international experts to review and create evidence-based official positions guiding clinicians for the practical use of FRAX. A consensus meeting of the Asia-Pacific (AP) Panel of the ISCD recently reviewed the most current Official Positions of the Joint Official Positions of ISCD and IOF on FRAX in view of the different population characteristics and health standards in the AP regions. The reviewed position statements included not only the key spectrum of positions but also unique concerns in AP regions.
Ethnic differences in bone density and hip geometry are known to exist, even within the same population. A recent study in Singapore showed that there were significant racial differences in hip fracture rates, with Chinese having the highest incidence of hip fractures. The aim of this study was to compare the bone mineral density (BMD) and hip axis length in Chinese, Malay, and Indian women. A total of 1575 women aged 20-59 yr were recruited, of which 77.6% (1222) were Chinese, 7.7% (122) Malays, and 14.7% (231) Indians. There was no significant difference in peak BMD of both lumbar spine and femoral neck among the three ethnic groups. However, in the older age group (50-59 yr), both Chinese and Malay women had significantly lower femoral neck BMD compared to Indian women. There was no significant loss in BMD of the lumbar spine between the second and fifth decades in all the three races. Between the second and fifth decade, Chinese and Malay women had significant bone loss in the femoral neck of 6.6% and 8.2%, respectively, whereas Indian women did not show any significant bone loss. Chinese women had significantly longer hip axis length compared to either Malay or Indian women (9.87 +/- 0.52 cm vs 9.67 +/- 0.49 cm; p < 0.005; and 9.69 +/- 0.55 cm, p < 0.05, respectively). The initial findings suggest racial differences in bone density and hip geometry exist in the local community. Future research should include prospective, longitudinal studies to determine the age-related bone loss in these three racial groups. It is also important to investigate the differences of spine and hip fracture rates and their relationship with bone density and hip axis length.
Quantitative ultrasound (QUS) is a relatively easy, reliable, and safe method for bone status assessment, but reference data for Asian males remain scarce. Our study aimed to determine the values for one QUS parameter, the speed of sound (SOS) at the calcaneus, in Malaysian Chinese men and to determine the association between the SOS and several demographic characteristics, such as age, weight, height, and body mass index. Three hundred forty-eight Malaysian Chinese men aged 40 yr and older were recruited, and their calcaneal QUS value was determined using the CM-200 densitometer (Furuno Electric, Nishinomiya City, Japan). The results indicated a significant correlation between SOS and age, and multiple stepwise regression analysis indicated that age and height were important predictors of SOS. A significant reduction in SOS value was observed when men 60 yr and older were compared with men aged 40-49 yr. Compared with the reference data for Japanese males, Chinese men in Malaysia showed higher SOS values across all the age groups studied. In conclusion, there is an age-related decrease in SOS values in Malaysian Chinese men, and the SOS values established in this study can be used as a reference for future studies.
The local normative value in quantitative ultrasound (QUS) equipment needs to be established for wider application and accurate classification of patients into respective fracture risk groups. The present study aimed to establish the calcaneal speed of sound (SOS) value for Chinese and Malay men in Malaysia and determine the difference between calcaneal SOS of the local population and the reference values provided by the manufacturer for each age group. This study will also determine the effect of using the manufacturer's young adult (20-29yr) reference or the local young adult reference to classify the subjects into the respective risk groups. Eight hundred forty Malay and Chinese men residing in central peninsular Malaysia were recruited and their calcaneal QUS value was determined using the CM-200 machine (Furuno Electric, Nishinomiya City, Japan). The results showed that the differences in SOS values between Chinese and Malay men were not significant across all the age groups studied (p>0.05). The age-dependent reduction of SOS value assumed a biphasic form, which was evident at 30-39yr and older than 60yr. The calcaneal SOS of the subject under study was significantly higher as compared with the manufacturer's reference (based on Japanese population) in all groups aged 40yr and older (p<0.05). A significant proportion of the subjects in the osteoporosis group was misclassified using the manufacturer's young adult reference as compared with using the local young adult reference (p<0.05). In conclusion, the overall normative value of SOS obtained was suitable for Chinese and Malay men in Malaysia, and a local reference value should be applied to avoid misclassification of subjects into the respective risk groups.
Antiepileptic drug (AED) therapy is associated with decreased bone mineral density; however, the time course for this development is unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate bone mineral changes during the initial years of AED therapy in AED-naive, newly diagnosed epilepsy patients compared with non-AED users. In 49 epilepsy patients newly started on AEDs and in 53 non-AED users of both genders, bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral content were measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry at baseline (within the first year of therapy) and at least 1 yr later. Bone changes between the 2 assessments, adjusted for age, height, and weight, were calculated as the annual rate of change. The median duration of AED therapy was 3.5 mo at baseline and 27.6 mo at follow-up. No overall difference was found in mean BMD and bone mineral content measures between user and nonuser cohorts in both cross-sectional baseline and the annual rate of change (p > 0.05). However, users on carbamazepine monotherapy (n = 11) had an increased annual rate of total hip (-2.1% vs -0.8%, p = 0.020) and femoral neck BMD loss (-2.1% vs -0.6%, p = 0.032) compared to nonusers. They also had a marginally higher rate of femoral neck BMD loss (-2.1%, p = 0.049) compared with valproate (-0.1%, n = 13) and levetiracetam users (+0.6%, n = 13). During the initial years of AED treatment for epilepsy, no difference was found in bone measures between AED users as a group and nonuser cohorts. However, the data suggested that carbamazepine monotherapy was associated with increased bone loss at the hip regions, compared to users of levetiracetam or valproate and nonusers. Larger studies of longer duration are warranted to better delineate the bone effects of specific AEDs, with further consideration of the role of early dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scanning and careful AED selection in potentially minimizing the impact on bone health in these patients.
The indications for initial and follow-up bone mineral density (BMD) in transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) individuals are poorly defined, and the choice of which gender database to use to calculate Z-scores is unclear. Herein, the findings of the Task Force are presented after a detailed review of the literature. As long as a TGNC individual is on standard gender-affirming hormone treatment, BMD should remain stable to increasing, so there is no indication to monitor for bone loss or osteoporosis strictly on the basis of TGNC status. TGNC individuals who experience substantial periods of hypogonadism (>1 yr) might experience bone loss or failure of bone accrual during that time, and should be considered for baseline measurement of BMD. To the extent that this hypogonadism continues over time, follow-up measurements can be appropriate. TGNC individuals who have adequate levels of endogenous or exogenous sex steroids can, of course, suffer from other illnesses that can cause osteoporosis and bone loss, such as hyperparathyroidism and steroid use; they should have measurement of BMD as would be done in the cisgender population. There are no data that TGNC individuals have a fracture risk different from that of cisgender individuals, nor any data to suggest that BMD predicts their fracture risk less well than in the cisgender population. The Z-score in transgender individuals should be calculated using the reference data (mean and standard deviation) of the gender conforming with the individual's gender identity. In gender nonconforming individuals, the reference data for the sex recorded at birth should be used. If the referring provider or the individual requests, a set of "male" and "female" Z-scores can be provided, calculating the Z-score against male and female reference data, respectively.
Vertebral fracture (VF) is the most common type of osteoporotic fracture. VFs are associated with a decline in quality of life and high morbidity and mortality. The presence of a VF is a significant risk factor for developing another fracture; however, most VFs are not clinically recognized and diagnosed. Vertebral fracture assessment by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry is a low cost, low radiation, convenient, and reliable method to identify VFs. The finding of a previously unrecognized VF may change the assessment of fracture risk, diagnostic classification, and treatment strategies. Vertebral fracture assessment or radiographic lateral spine imaging should be repeated in patients with continued high risk for fracture (e.g., historical height loss >4 cm [>1.5 inches], self-reported but undocumented vertebral fracture, or glucocorticoid therapy equivalent to ≥5 mg of prednisone or equivalent per day for greater than or equal to 3 months).
To answer important questions in the fields of monitoring with densitometry, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry machine cross-calibration, monitoring, spinal cord injury, periprosthetic and orthopedic bone health, transgender medicine, and pediatric bone health, the International Society for Clinical Densitometry (ISCD) held a Position Development Conference from March 20 to 23, 2019. Potential topics requiring guidance were solicited from ISCD members in 2017. Following that, a steering committee selected, prioritized, and grouped topics into Task Forces. Chairs for each Task Force were appointed and the members were co-opted from suggestions by the Steering Committee and Task Force Chairs. The Task Forces developed key questions, performed literature searches, and came up with proposed initial positions with substantiating draft publications, with support from the Steering Committee. An invited Panel of Experts first performed a review of draft positions using a modified RAND Appropriateness Method with voting for appropriateness. Draft positions deemed appropriate were further edited and presented at the Position Development Conference meeting in an open forum. A second round of voting occurred after discussions to approve or reject the positions. Finally, a face-to-face closed session with experts and Task Force Chairs, and subsequent electronic follow-up resulted in 34 Official Positions of the ISCD approved by the ISCD Board on May 28, 2019. The Official Positions and the supporting evidence were submitted for publication on July 1, 2019. This paper provides a summary of the all the ISCD Adult and Pediatric Official Positions, with the new 2019 positions highlighted in bold.
Osteoporosis is a major health issue. By 2050, a greater than 2-fold increase in patients number with hip fractures will occur in Asia representing 50% of all hip fractures worldwide. For the Asia-Pacific (AP) region, more efforts on controlling osteoporosis and the subsequent fractures are crucial. Bone mineral density (BMD) by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is commonly used to diagnose osteoporosis and monitor osteoporosis treatment. However, the inconvenience, cost, limited availability of DXA and the delay in detection of BMD changes after treatment initiation support an important role for bone turnover markers (BTMs), as short-term tools to monitor therapy. With regards to low adherence rates of medical treatment of osteoporosis, the experts reached consensus on the use of BTMs for both raising awareness and short-term monitoring of osteoporosis treatment in the AP region. The experts endorse the use of BTMs, especially serum C-terminal telopeptide of type 1 collagen (CTX) and serum procollagen type 1 N propeptide (P1NP), as short-term monitoring tools to help clinicians assess the responses to osteoporosis therapies and appropriately adjust treatment regimens earlier than BMD. Either the absolute values or the degree of change from baseline in BTMs can be used to monitor the potential efficacy of osteoporosis therapies. The use of BTMs can be incorporated in osteoporosis care programs, such as fracture liaison service (FLS), to improve patient adherence and treatment outcomes. Encouraging sufficient reimbursement from health care systems may facilitate widespread use of BTMs in clinical practice in the AP region.
Spinal cord injury (SCI) causes rapid osteoporosis that is most severe below the level of injury. More than half of those with motor complete SCI will experience an osteoporotic fracture at some point following their injury, with most fractures occurring at the distal femur and proximal tibia. These fractures have devastating consequences, including delayed union or nonunion, cellulitis, skin breakdown, lower extremity amputation, and premature death. Maintaining skeletal integrity and preventing fractures is imperative following SCI to fully benefit from future advances in paralysis cure research and robotic-exoskeletons, brain computer interfaces and other evolving technologies. Clinical care has been previously limited by the lack of consensus derived guidelines or standards regarding dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry-based diagnosis of osteoporosis, fracture risk prediction, or monitoring response to therapies. The International Society of Clinical Densitometry convened a task force to establish Official Positions for bone density assessment by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry in individuals with SCI of traumatic or nontraumatic etiology. This task force conducted a series of systematic reviews to guide the development of evidence-based position statements that were reviewed by an expert panel at the 2019 Position Development Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The resulting the International Society of Clinical Densitometry Official Positions are intended to inform clinical care and guide the diagnosis of osteoporosis as well as fracture risk management of osteoporosis following SCI.
This position development conference (PDC) Task Force examined the assessment of bone status in orthopedic surgery patients. Key questions included which orthopedic surgery patients should be evaluated for poor bone health prior to surgery and which subsets of patients are at high risk for poor bone health and adverse outcomes. Second, the reliability and validity of using bone densitometry techniques and measurement of specific geometries around the hip and knee before and after arthroplasty was determined. Finally, the use of computed tomography (CT) attenuation coefficients (Hounsfield units) to estimate bone quality at anatomic locations where orthopedic surgery is performed including femur, tibia, shoulder, wrist, and ankle were reviewed. The literature review identified 665 articles of which 198 met inclusion exclusion criteria and were selected based on reporting of methodology, reliability, or validity results. We recommend that the orthopedic surgeon be aware of established ISCD guidelines for determining who should have additional screening for osteoporosis. Patients with inflammatory arthritis, chronic corticosteroid use, chronic renal disease, and those with history of fracture after age 50 are at high risk of osteoporosis and adverse events from surgery and should have dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) screening before surgery. In addition to standard DXA, bone mineral density (BMD) measurement along the femur and proximal tibia is reliable and valid around implants and can provide valuable information regarding bone remodeling and identification of loosening. Attention to positioning, selection of regions of interest, and use of special techniques and software is required. Plain radiographs and CT provide simple, reliable methods to classify the shape of the proximal femur and to predict osteoporosis; these include the Dorr Classification, Cortical Index, and critical thickness. Correlation of these indices to central BMD is moderate to good. Many patients undergoing orthopedic surgery have had preoperative CT which can be utilized to assess regional quality of bone. The simplest method available on most picture archiving and communications systems is to simply measure a regions of interest and determine the mean Hounsfield units. This method has excellent reliability throughout the skeleton and has moderate correlation to DXA based on BMD. The prediction of outcome and correlation to mechanical strength of fixation of a screw or implant is unknown.