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Curr Osteoporos Rep., 2009; 7(2): 37-41, PMID: 19631026

Assessment of material, structural, and functional properties of the human skeleton by pQCT systems

Year: 2009

Roldán EJ, Bogado CE
Instituto de Investigaciones Metabólicas, Libertad 836, C1012AAR Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) systems measure bone parameters noninvasively using low radiation doses. This limits image resolution but is practical for the diagnosis and quantitative monitoring of the properties of the peripheral human skeleton. pQCT determines volumetric bone mineral density separately in trabecular and cortical bone. It may combine densitometry determinations with geometric estimates and use strain-stress indexes, and it may be used to analyze muscle variables in some areas, allowing the study of regional fragility. Experimental and clinical ex vivo studies show that pQCT variables correlate with biomechanical predictors of fragility and/or fractures. Since pQCT was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1997, new skeletal regions (human femur and mandible) have been considered in the development of the system. Basically, pQCT explores intraindividual and interindividual variations in greater detail and compares the impact of skeletal diseases, risk factors, and anabolic and catabolic treatments within a given bone cross section.

GID: 1844; Last update: 27.07.2009