Bone mineral density

Bone mineral density (BMD) is defined as amount of mineral (calcium hydroxyapatite) per unit of bone.

Radiographic features

BMD can be measured by various methods:

  • gamma rays: replaced by radiographic methods
    • single-energy photon absorptiometry (SPA) was superseded by the introduction of single x-ray absorptiometry; both methods measure density at peripheral sites in the skeleton (e.g. distal radius, calcaneus), but the disadvantage is that it cannot measure trabecular and cortical bone separately
    • dual-energy photon absorptiometry (DPA) also has been replaced by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA)
  • x-ray
  • ultrasound
    • calcaneal ultrasonography: determines bone mineral density and bone strength
    • speed sound (SOS): measures velocity in the bone
    • broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA): measures the frequency in the bone
  • MRI
    • spectroscopy
    • quantitative magnetic resonance imaging: depicts changes in the trabecular structures at several sites of the peripheral skeleton
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Article information

rID: 31432
Sections: Gamuts, Physics
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Bone mineral density (BMD)
  • BMD

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Cases and figures

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    Case 1: DEXA showing osteopaenia
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