Current Osteoporosis Reports

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 103-106

First online:

Clinical relevance of diagnosing vertebral fractures by vertebral fracture assessment

  • Marleen S. van BrusselAffiliated withDepartment of Rheumatology 3A64, VU University Medical Center Email author 
  • , Willem F. Lems

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Low bone mineral density and the presence of vertebral fractures are independent predictors for future vertebral and non-vertebral fractures. Combining the conventional measurement of bone mineral density of spine and hips with the morphometry of the thoracal and lumbar vertebrae on lateral images using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry scanners, a technique called vertebral fracture assessment, facilitates detection of vertebral fractures in those patients at older age and with clinical risk factors for osteoporosis. Particularly, the finding of one or more vertebral deformities in patients with osteopenia is clinically important, because this might prompt the start of anti-osteoporotic treatment.