Pediatric bone density and fracture
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As children grow, they accumulate bone mineral, which serves as a “bone bank” for the future. Any condition that interferes with normal bone mineral accrual during childhood has the potential to reduce peak bone mass and subsequently increase future risk for fracture. In contrast to adults, for whom dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) has become the standard clinical instrument for assessing bone mineral density and criteria have been developed to define osteopenia and osteoporosis, information for children is still limited. Numerous issues confound the interpretation of DXA-derived bone mineral density measurements in children, and clinicians often find themselves caught between the limitations of these methods and the practical issue of taking care of their pediatric patient. The explosion of treatment options for postmenopausal osteoporosis has resulted in new options for the treatment of children and adolescents. However, most of these agents have not been sufficiently well studied in children to permit the development of standardized treatment guidelines.
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