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Radiologic Methods to Evaluate Bone Mineral Content

[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

Grant support: The Clinical Efficacy Assessment Project is funded by the John A. Hartford Foundation.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Linda Johnson White; Clinical Efficacy Assessment Project, Department of Health and Public Policy, American College of Physicians, 4200 Pine Street; Philadelphia, PA 19104.

*This paper was authored by Paul L. Kimmel, M.D., and was developed for the Health and Public Policy Committee by the Clinical Efficacy Assessment Subcommittee: Donald E. Olson, M.D., Chairman; David Banta, M.D.; Alvan R. Feinstein, M.D.; Howard S. Frazier, M.D.; Richard B. Hornick, M.D.; and Seymour Perry, M.D. Members of the Health and Public Policy Committee for the 1983-84 term were Edwin P. Maynard, III, M.D., Chairman; Arthur J. Atkinson, Jr., M.D.; Steven C. Beering, M.D.; Richard G. Farmer, M.D.; Paul F. Griner, M.D.; John R. Hogness, M.D.; Charles E. Lewis, M.D.; Donald E. Olson, M.D.; Malcolm L. Peterson, M.D.; Theodore B. Schwartz, M.D.; and Helen L. Smits, M.D. Richard J. Reitemeier, M.D., and Francis J. Sweeney, Jr., M.D., were ex officio members. This position paper was adopted by the Executive Committee of the Board of Regents on 12 March 1984.

AMERICAN COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

© 1984 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1984;100(6):908-911. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-100-6-908
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This excerpt has been provided in the absence of an abstract.

The diagnosis and management of metabolic bone diseases such as osteoporosis, osteomalacia, and renal osteodystrophy are facilitated by the ability to determine accurately the nature and degree of changes in bone mineral content. Changes caused by metabolic bone disorders may progress slowly, and short-term changes may be subtle.

The axial skeleton is composed largely of trabecular bone, and the appendicular skeleton is mostly cortical. Most metabolic bone diseases affect trabecular (cancellous) bone to a greater extent than cortical bone, because of the higher turnover rate of the former. In many metabolic bone diseases, fractures tend to occur at sites that


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