, Volume 58, Issue 3, pp 426–441 | Cite as

Imaging of diabetic bone

  • Federico Ponti
  • Sara Guerri
  • Claudia Sassi
  • Giuseppe Battista
  • Giuseppe Guglielmi
  • Alberto BazzocchiEmail author
Endocrine Methods and Techniques


Diabetes is an important concern in terms of medical and socioeconomic costs; a high risk for low-trauma fractures has been reported in patients with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The mechanism involved in the increased fracture risk from diabetes is highly complex and still not entirely understood; obesity could play an important role: recent evidence suggests that the influence of fat on bone is mainly dependent on the pattern of regional fat deposition and that an increased amount of visceral adipose tissue negatively affects skeletal health.

Correct and timely individuation of people with high fracture risk is critical for both prevention and treatment: Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry (currently the “gold standard” for diagnosis of osteoporosis) underestimates fracture risk in diabetic patients and therefore is not sufficient by itself to investigate bone status. This paper is focused on imaging, covering different modalities involved in the evaluation of skeletal deterioration in diabetes, discussing the limitations of conventional methods and exploring the potential of new tools and recent high-resolution techniques, with the intent to provide interesting insight into pathophysiology and fracture risk.


Diabetes mellitus Osteoporosis Bone fractures Absorptiometry, photon Bone mineral density Bone microarchitecture 



This manuscript was not funded by any source.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

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


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Federico Ponti
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sara Guerri
    • 2
  • Claudia Sassi
    • 2
  • Giuseppe Battista
    • 2
  • Giuseppe Guglielmi
    • 3
    • 4
  • Alberto Bazzocchi
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Diagnostic and Interventional RadiologyThe “Rizzoli” Orthopaedic InstituteBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine (DIMES)Division of Radiology S.Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, University of BolognaBolognaItaly
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyUniversity of FoggiaFoggiaItaly
  4. 4.Department of RadiologyScientific Institute “Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza” HospitalSan Giovanni RotondoItaly

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