, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 174-183

The Fallacy of BMD: A Critical Review of the Diagnostic Use of Dual X-ray Absorptiometry

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The diagnostic use of BMD should be cautious as BMD is not an ideal measure of true bone density; it is not an ideal measure of bone strength; it does not predict fractures well; and it has inherent problems of accuracy and linearity. The limitations of BMD, based on the physical deficiencies of DXA, are further obscured by the introduction of T-scores.

 It is suggested that BMD and BMC, when used diagnostically and for fracture risk classification, be used after correction for body size and/or bone size, age and sex, and that measured values be evaluated in the light of established mean fracture incidence data. BMD is not a parameter of sufficient validity to be the sole indicator of present and future fracture risk. A low BMD should be regarded one of several fracture risk factors.

 It seems that there is a need to redefine the T-score based definition of osteoporosis.

Received: June 1999 / Accepted: September 1999