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Dentomaxillofac Radiol. 2019 Oct 23:20190149. doi: 10.1259/dmfr.20190149. [Epub ahead of print]

The accuracy of panoramic radiography as a screening of bone mineral density in women: a systematic review.

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Federal University of Pelotas.



A systematic review and meta-analysis of diagnostic test accuracy studies was conducted to assess if the radiomorphometric indexes observed in panoramic radiographies could estimate reduced bone mineral density (BMD) similarly to standard technique the bone densitometry (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) in females older than 30 years.


A systematic search in four databases was conducted until January 2019. Two evaluators performed data extraction and evaluation of risk of bias independently, and agreement was achieved by consensus. Data were synthesized on a subgroup meta-analysis with a random effect model and the hierarchical summary receiver-operating characteristic curve was used to calculate pooled estimates of studies.


Thirty three studies were included and 12 different radiomorphometric indexes identified, including Mandibular Cortical Index (MCI). The final number of cases pooled for the analysis was 5266 females.The MCI for BMD loss (osteopenia) presented values of sensitivity 0.81 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.78-0.84] and specificity 0.48 (95% CI, 0.45-0.50), while for osteoporosis sensitivity 0.35 (95% CI, 0.30-0.40) and specificity 0.88 (95% CI, 0.86-0.90). The mandibular cortical width presented values of sensitivity 0.58 (95% CI, 0.40-0.73), specificity 0.73 (95% CI, 0.60-0.83) for osteopenia, while for osteoporosis sensitivity 0.57 (95% CI, 0.36-0.76) and specificity 0.83 (95% CI, 0.68-0.92). Due to the high sensitivity, MCI presented a potential value as a screening tool for initial BMD loss (osteopenia), once tests presenting high sensitivity are described as rarely missing subjects with the disease. To the other hand, MCI to osteoporosis and Mandibular Cortical Width for both conditions are not recommended because presented specificity higher than sensitivity.


The MCI can be recommended as a feasible tool to screen initial BMD loss (osteopenia) in females above 30 years old using panoramic radiography exams.


Absorptiometry, Photon; Bone Density; Meta-analysis; Osteoporosis; Radiography, Panoramic


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