Current Osteoporosis Reports

, Volume 14, Issue 6, pp 359–373 | Cite as

A Comparison of Peripheral Imaging Technologies for Bone and Muscle Quantification: a Mixed Methods Clinical Review

  • Andy Kin On Wong
Muscle and Bone (L Bonewald and M Hamrick, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Muscle and Bone


Purpose of Review

Bone and muscle peripheral imaging technologies are reviewed for their association with fractures and frailty. A narrative systematized review was conducted for bone and muscle parameters from each imaging technique. In addition, meta-analyses were performed across all bone quality parameters.

Recent Findings

The current body of evidence for bone quality’s association with fractures is strong for (high-resolution) peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT), with trabecular separation (Tb.Sp) and integral volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD) reporting consistently large associations with various fracture types across studies. Muscle has recently been linked to fractures and frailty, but the quality of evidence remains weaker from studies of small sample sizes.


It is increasingly apparent that musculoskeletal tissues have a complex relationship with interrelated clinical endpoints such as fractures and frailty. Future studies must concurrently address these relationships in order to decipher the relative importance of one causal pathway from another.


Peripheral quantitative computed tomography Magnetic resonance imaging Bone and muscle quality Fractures Frailty Meta-analysis 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Andy Kin On Wong declares no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Joint Department of Medical Imaging, Toronto General Research InstituteUniversity Health Network, Toronto General HospitalTorontoCanada
  2. 2.McMaster University, Department of MedicineFaculty of Health SciencesHamiltonCanada

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