Bone mineral density

Dr Daniel J Bell and Dr Ayush Goel et al.

Bone mineral density (BMD) is defined as the amount of mineral (calcium hydroxyapatite) per unit of bone and can be used as an indirect indicator of bone strength. The bone mineral density is used to determine if osteopenia or osteoporosis are present.

Radiographic features

Bone mineral density can be measured by various methods, with DEXA being the most prevalent in modern clinical practice:

X-ray
Ultrasound
CT
  • advantageous for opportunistic screening but research not advanced enough yet for implementation into clinical practice 4
  • HU measurements vary on anatomic site including by individual vertebra 4
  • scanner variability is also a significant factor with HU threshold for diagnosis of osteoporosis varying between 99 and 136 HU 4
MRI
Nuclear medicine

Article information

rID: 31432
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • BMD (bone)
  • Bone mineral density (BMD)

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: DEXA showing osteopenia
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