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Radiol Med. 2011 Feb;116(1):92-101. doi: 10.1007/s11547-010-0577-1. Epub 2010 Oct 6.

Quantitative ultrasound of the phalanges and DXA of the lumbar spine and proximal femur in evaluating the risk of osteoporotic vertebral fracture in postmenopausal women.

[Article in English, Italian]

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  • 1Department of Radiological Science, University of Rome La Sapienza - Policlinico Umberto I, Viale Regina Elena 328, 00161, Rome, Italy.



This study was undertaken to compare the quantitative ultrasound (QUS) parameters of amplitude-dependent speed of sound (AD-SoS) and ultrasound bone profile index (UBPI) of the phalanges with bone mineral density (BMD) of the lumbar spine and proximal hip using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in discriminating women with vertebral fracture.


A total of 692 postmenopausal Caucasian women were included in the study. The presence of vertebral fracture was evaluated by radiography. AD-SoS and UBPI were measured at the phalangeal metaphysis using a DBM Sonic device. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to estimate the odds ratio (OR) for vertebral fractures. The ORs were also adjusted for the significant anthropometric variables of age, weight and height. Furthermore, for QUS parameters, the ORs were also adjusted for lumbar spine and total hip BMD.


All measurements obtained with DXA and QUS significantly discriminated between women with and without fractures (p<0.0001). However, the OR was higher for lumbar spine BMD (OR 4.01), AD-SoS (OR 3.81), total hip (OR 3.7) and femoral neck BMD (OR 3.62).


The QUS parameter AD-SoS showed diagnostic sensitivity equal to that of lumbar DXA in discriminating between women with and without osteoporotic vertebral fractures.

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