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J Bone Miner Res. 2011 Sep;26(9):2194-203. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.428.

Simultaneous screening for osteoporosis at CT colonography: bone mineral density assessment using MDCT attenuation techniques compared with the DXA reference standard.

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  • 1University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI 53792-3252, USA. ppickhardt2@uwhealth.org


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the utility of lumbar spine attenuation measurement for bone mineral density (BMD) assessment at screening computed tomographic colonography (CTC) using central dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) as the reference standard. Two-hundred and fifty-two adults (240 women and 12 men; mean age 58.9 years) underwent CTC screening and central DXA BMD measurement within 2 months (mean interval 25.0 days). The lowest DXA T-score between the spine and hip served as the reference standard, with low BMD defined per World Health Organization as osteoporosis (DXA T-score ≤ -2.5) or osteopenia (DXA T-score between -1.0 and -2.4). Both phantomless quantitative computed tomography (QCT) and simple nonangled region-of-interest (ROI) multi-detector CT (MDCT) attenuation measurements were applied to the T(12) -L(5) levels. The ability to predict osteoporosis and low BMD (osteoporosis or osteopenia) by DXA was assessed. A BMD cut-off of 90 mg/mL at phantomless QCT yielded 100% sensitivity for osteoporosis (29 of 29) and a specificity of 63.8% (143 of 224); 87.2% (96 of 110) below this threshold had low BMD and 49.6% (69 of 139) above this threshold had normal BMD at DXA. At L(1) , a trabecular ROI attenuation cut-off of 160 HU was 100% sensitive for osteoporosis (29 of 29), with a specificity of 46.4% (104 of 224); 83.9% (125 of 149) below this threshold had low BMD and 57.5% (59/103) above had normal BMD at DXA. ROI performance was similar at all individual T(12) -L(5) levels. At ROC analysis, AUC for osteoporosis was 0.888 for phantomless QCT [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.780-0.946] and ranged from 0.825 to 0.853 using trabecular ROIs at single lumbar levels (0.864; 95% CI 0.752-0.930 at multivariate analysis). Supine-prone reproducibility was better with the simple ROI method compared with QCT. It is concluded that both phantomless QCT and simple ROI attenuation measurements of the lumbar spine are effective for BMD screening at CTC with high sensitivity for osteoporosis, as defined by the DXA T-score.

Copyright © 2011 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

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