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Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2013 Mar;11(1):1-10. doi: 10.1007/s11914-012-0128-x.

Imaging technologies for assessment of skeletal health in men.

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  • 1New Mexico Clinical Research & Osteoporosis Center, 300 Oak Street NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106, USA.


Conventional radiography can detect most fractures, evaluate their healing, and visualize characteristic skeletal abnormalities for some metabolic bone diseases. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is used to measure areal bone mineral density (BMD) in order to diagnose osteoporosis, estimate fracture risk, and monitor changes in BMD over time. Vertebral fracture assessment by DXA can diagnose vertebral fractures with less ionizing radiation, greater patient convenience, and lower cost than conventional radiography. Quantitative computed tomography (QCT) measures volumetric BMD separately in cortical and trabecular bone compartments. High resolution peripheral QCT and high resolution magnetic resonance imaging are noninvasive research tools that assess the microarchitecture of bone. The use of these technologies and others has been associated with special challenges in men compared with women, provided insights into differences in the pathogenesis of osteoporosis in men and women, and enhanced understanding of the mechanisms of action of osteoporosis treatments.

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