European Radiology

, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp 1521–1532 | Cite as

Radiologic assessment of osteoporotic vertebral fractures: diagnostic and prognostic implications

  • Thomas M. Link
  • Giuseppe Guglielmi
  • Cornelis van Kuijk
  • Judith E. Adams


As populations age osteoporosis becomes an increasingly important public health issue. Among osteoporotic fractures vertebral fractures are of particular relevance: they are the most common fractures, frequently are asymptomatic but have an important influence on prognosis and morbidity in the osteoporotic patient. Previous studies have suggested that these fractures are frequently not diagnosed and that radiologists miss a high percentage of osteoporotic, vertebral fractures present on lateral chest radiographs. The aims of this review are (1) to emphasize the important role that radiologists play in the accurate and clear reporting of vertebral fractures, (2) to provide guidance in assessing these fractures in radiographs, MRI and computed tomography imaging of the vertebral spine and (3) to sensitize the radiologist in diagnosing fractures in chest radiographs.


Osteoporosis Vertebral fractures Radiographs Computed tomography Magnetic resonance imaging 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas M. Link
    • 1
  • Giuseppe Guglielmi
    • 2
  • Cornelis van Kuijk
    • 3
  • Judith E. Adams
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyUniversity of California, San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyScientific Institute Hospital Casa Sollievo della SofferenzaSan Giovanni RotondoItaly
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyUniversity Medical Center Radboud NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Imaging Science and Biomedical EngineeringUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

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