, Volume 17, Issue 6, pp 791-794
Date: 05 May 2006

Hot stuff—can’t get enough

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From a shadow to its structure

The sun projects only Earth’s shadow onto the moon and this shadow reveals nothing of Earth’s mountain ranges and rift valleys. In the same way, the projected areal bone mineral density (aBMD) from the attenuated photons of the densitometer reveals little of the three-dimensional architecture of bone that is so vital to its strength [1].

It is thus a pleasure to see that we are finally moving away from the ambiguous phenotype of aBMD with the aid of new, non-invasive, high-resolution 3-D pQCT as a means of assessing bone’s three-dimensional structure. A new world of questions is emerging that allow us to study the pathogenesis of the earlier gain and later loss of bone strength and leading in this is work from the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota and from Lyon, France [24].

Khosla et al. [2] report men have thicker trabeculae than women at the ultradistal radius with greater trabecular bone volume/tissue volume, but similar trabecular number—that’s new. Da ...