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J Comput Assist Tomogr. 1999 Jan-Feb;23(1):130-7.

Assessment of vertebral bone mineral density using volumetric quantitative CT.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, University of California, San Francisco 94143-1250, USA.



The purpose of this work was to determine the precision and diagnostic efficacy of bone mineral density (BMD) measures based on volumetric quantitative CT (QCT) of the spine.


Volumetric CT scans of L1 and L2 (GE-9800Q; 80 kVp, 140 mAs, 3 mm slices) were acquired in a cohort of 62 osteoporotic women (mean age 70.4 years, T(DXA hip or spine) < -2.5), of whom 20 had vertebral fractures and 42 were nonfractured control subjects. An image analysis technique delineated trabecular, cortical, and integral regions in reference to a vertebra-fixed coordinate system. We computed precision values and fracture control differences for these new regions and for single-slice QCT and dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) measures synthesized from the volumetric data.


Volumetric trabecular BMD showed higher precision (1.3%) than the synthesized single-slice measures (2.1-2.8%). Volumetric and single-slice trabecular BMD showed equivalent decrements between fractured and nonfractured subjects (17-19%), with integral BMD showing smaller and less significant differences (7-8%).


Volumetric and single-slice QCT techniques are equivalent for vertebral fracture risk estimation, but volumetric techniques should be superior for monitoring therapy efficacy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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