, Volume 21, Issue 2 Supplement, pp 403-406
Date: 13 May 2010

Microarchitecture in focus

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Introduction

Osteoporosis is a complex disease characterized by a decrease in bone mass and alterations of bone quality leading to increased bone fragility and fracture risk. The increasing worldwide incidence of osteoporosis requires the use of effective treatments. The aim of antiosteoporotic treatments is to improve bone strength and thus to decrease the risk of fracture [1, 2]. Bone quality includes several aspects of bone composition and structure, including microstructure, bone turnover, the degree of mineralization, and the extent of microdamage. Bone quality is being given increased importance as recent observations demonstrate that traditional measures of bone density do not always predict fracture risk reliably [3].

At present, the major noninvasive measurement available for the diagnosis of osteoporosis is the measurement of areal bone mineral density (BMD) by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Fracture risk prediction in the individual patient also relies mainly on BMD m ...