A new method for identifying bones at high risk of fracture, and for monitoring the effectiveness of new bone-strengthening drugs and techniques, has been developed by scientists at the University of Cambridge.
This work is expected to lead to advances in the treatment and management of osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis results thinning of the cortical bone, so that often the remaining bone is no thicker than an eggshell by the time an individual is in their 80s. This thinning can lead to bones that are so weak that a stumble, trip or fall can lead to a fracture.æ
Currently, the key technology used to assess a patient’s risk of fracture is a bone density test.
Utilizing data from a CT scan and a mathematical model of the scanning process, thousands of cortical bone measurements are obtained. This produces 3D thickness maps, which allows the identification of dangerously thin areas.