Peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) - the third dimension in bone densitometry.
With conventional area-projected bone densitometry techniques bone strength cannot be determined adequately because they are lacking information about bone geometry.
With the pQCT technology bone strength with respect to bending, torsion, and compression can be calculated from bone's cross sectional geometry. In addition the results are given as physically correct density units in g/cm³, whereas area projected techniques give only g/cm². Therefore the density values from the pQCT are independent from bone size. This is especially important for measurements on children. With the pQCT technology cortical and trabecular bone can be analysed separately and bone changes can be diagnosed reliably.
Additional morphometric parameter like endosteal and periosteal perimeter and bone cross sectional area are accessible in vivo. pQCT measurements at tibia or radius are performed in a wide range in clinical routine. In paediatrics the advantages of pQCT are especially distinct. It is the only method that allows to differentiate bone growth from other processes. In preclinical research specialised ultra high resolution scanner rare used in many pharmacological studies.