How to Measure Bone Mineral Density (BMD)?

If you take a sample of bone and wash out the liquid bone marrow, the remaining bone is about half mineral and half protein. The weight of mineral per volume of bone is the bone mineral density. The strength of the bone is largely determined by the bone mineral density. A BMD test can provide a snapshot of your bone health. It can diagnose osteoporosis, predict your risk of bone fractures and monitor of patients undergoing treatment. The most commonly and accurately way recognized BMD test is a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan uses low-dose x-rays. There are two types of DEXA scans: central and peripheral DEXA. The density of the total hip is the best predictor for a hip fracture, while the lumbar spine is the best site for monitoring the effect of treatment [24]. For better characterizing fracture risk and treatment effects, there are some other techniques to analyze bone quality, including high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (CT), multidetector CT, magnetic resonance imaging, and quantitative ultrasonography [21].

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