, Volume 54, Issue 6, pp 466-469

Broadband ultrasound attenuation and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry in patients with hip fractures: Which technique discriminates fracture risk

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Abstract

There is considerable interest in predicting risk of hip fracture in order to allow targeting of preventive care. This study aimed to determine which of two methods best discriminates a hip fracture population from controls. Fifty women with fractured neck of femur, and 50 control subjects were scanned using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) of the spine and hip and broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA) of the os calcis. Significant differences between the two populations could be found for both DXA and BUA, with BUA showing the largest percentage difference (27%). The mean z-scores showed that BUA had the lowest, with the exception of DXA trochanter. However, no significant difference between BUA and DXA trochanter Z-scores was found. A receiver operator characteristic (ROC) analysis showed that BUA has a superior sensitivity and specificity compared with DXA measurements, with DXA of the hip being better than the spine. This retrospective study shows that BUA is a better discriminator of hip fracture than DXA lumbar spine of DXA hip, which may have important implications for predicting those at risk of future hip fracture.