Bone Histomorphometry

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Histomorphometric examination of bone biopsies provides information on bone turnover, remodeling, and structure, which cannot be obtained from other investigative approaches such as bone densitometry and biochemical markers of bone turnover. Recently, there have been significant advances in histomorphometric techniques with the use of computer-assisted analysis and the development of sophisticated approaches to assessment of microstructure of bone. The application of these techniques has been particularly valuable in analyzing the cellular pathophysiology of different forms of osteoporosis and in determining the mechanisms by which drugs affect bone. In this chapter we review current methodology used in the preparation and histomorphometric assessment of histological sections of bone, with particular reference to its application in humans.