Quantitative ultrasound of cortical bone in the femoral neck predicts femur strength: Results of a pilot study

Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 01/25/2013

A significant risk of femoral neck (FN) fracture exists for men and women with an areal bone mineral density (aBMD) higher than the osteoporotic range, as measured with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). The results of this study demonstrate that quantitative ultrasound (QUS) can perform a targeted measurement of the FN cortical compartment. Because the method involves mechanical guided waves, the QUS variable is related to the geometric and material properties of the cortical shell (cortical thickness, tissue elasticity, and porosity). This work opens the way to a multimodal QUS assessment of the proximal femur, combining the approach targeting the cortical shell with the existing modality sensitive to the trabecular compartment. In vivo feasibility of the approach has to be confirmed with experimental data in patients.

Print Article Summary