Generalised increased bone density in adults

The causes of generalised increase in bone density in adult patients can be divided according to broad categories: 

  • myeloproliferative disorders: myelosclerosis
    • marrow cavity is narrowed by endosteal new bone
    • patchy lucencies due to persistence of fibrous tissue (generalised osteopaenia in the early stages due to myelofibrosis)
    • hepatosplenomegaly
  • metabolic
  • poisoning
    • fluorosis
      • with periosteal reaction, prominent muscle attachments and calcification of ligaments and interosseous membranes
      • changes are most marked in the innominate bones and lumbar spine
  • neoplastic (more commonly multifocal than generalised)
  • osteoblastic metastases: most commonly prostate and breasts
  • lymphoma
  • mastocytosis
    • sclerosis of marrow containing skeleton with patchy areas of radiolucency
    • urticaria pigmentosa
    • can have symptoms and signs of carcinoid syndrome
  • idiopathic (more commonly multifocal than generalised)
  • Paget disease: coarsened trabeculae, bony expansion and thickened cortex
  • osteopetrosis

There are several mnemonics for dense bones.

See also

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Article information

rID: 12115
Section: Gamuts
Tag: refs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Differential diagnosis of generalized increased bone density in adults
  • Generalized increased bone density in adults

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Cases and figures

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    Case 1: brown tumours with renal osteodystrophy
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    Case 2: diffuse bone metastases - prostate
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    Case 3: renal osteodystrophy
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    Case 4: breast cancer metastasis
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    Osteoblastic meta...
    Case 5: prostatic carcinoma - osteoblastic metastases
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    Case 6: systemic mastocytosis
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    CT Axial
    Case 7: Paget disease
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