Currently, the diagnosis of osteoporosis is extremely topical due to its incidence in our country. To prevent or treat osteoporosis effectively, it is necessary to carry out a full diagnostic examination (densitometry), which can:
- determine decrease in bone mass (determine bone mineral density),
- disclose the violation of the bone structure (i.e., diagnosticate the bone architectonic condition),
- find out the risk of fractures,
- detect the presence of concomitant conditions or diseases of the body, which can potentially cause osteoporosis and have already led to its emergence
If the doctor is aware of this information in full, he or she will be able to develop the best individual therapy regimen and preventive measures, which will help solve the patient’s problem of osteoporosis effectively.
Densitometry can render indispensable assistance in solving this complex problem. Currently, there are several densitometry methods widely used in medical practice; the most common one is an ultrasound computed densitometry (‘echo densitometry’).
Ultrasonic densitometry is characterized by a very high sensitivity to changes in bone density, so it’s effective in the diagnosis of early osteoporosis signs, when the bone density loss doesn’t exceed 3-4%, while there’s a 25-30% chance to diagnosticate osteoporosis during the normal X-ray at bone mineralization failing).
The most important advantages of the ultrasound densitometry method are:
- combination of its full information content with absolute safety for the body (this allows you to use it as needed),
- simplicity and efficiency of the procedure: the duration of one study usually doesn’t exceed 10 minutes,
- availability and relatively low cost as compared to such research methods as MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), CT (computed tomography),
- it doesn’t require special preparation of the patient to undergo this study,
- the procedure is totally painless,
- the method has no contraindications, and therefore it can be widely applied in relation to pregnant and lactating women, children, and those who have undergone radiation therapy and X-ray examinations.
All this allows the wide use of ultrasonic densitometry not only for the primary diagnosis of the state of bone mineralization and fracture risk, but also to evaluate the effectiveness of osteoporosis therapy and its correction. Furthermore, this method is extensively used in screening studies to identify the risk of developing osteoporosis. Since it’s completely harmless, it can be carried out in regard to anyone without a doctor’s recommendation.
The main indications for densitometry are diseases and conditions associated with decreased bone tissue mineralization. Therefore it is recommended to undergo densitometry on a regular basis:
- for women over 40 and men over 60 years old,
- for women who have frequent pregnancies resulting in childbirth, as well as long-term breastfeeding (over 9 months),
- in case of early menopause before 45 years (including surgical one),
- for patients with failure of parathyroid glands,
- for patients with fractures at minimal trauma (especially less than 5 years after a previous fracture),
- for patients taking preparations that reduce bone density (corticosteroids, diuretics, contraceptives, anticonvulsants, tranquilizers and psychotropic drugs, etc.),
- to monitor administration of medicine containing calcium, as well as for medical treatment of osteoporosis.
- for patients with such osteoporosis risk factors as:
- hereditary predisposition,
- underweight (less than 57 kg),
- reduced level of sex hormones (especially estrogen deficiency),
- tendency to fall down (for various reasons),
- physical inactivity (including bed rest for more than two months, the use of a wheelchair or other mobility aids, immobilization),
- prolonged stay in a weightless state,
- imbalanced nutrition (low calcium or vitamin D content in food, eating large quantities of drinks with caffeine), various fasting diets, nestitherapy, etc.),
- smoking and alcohol abuse,
- inappropriate (exhausting) loads, occupational hazards,
- association of various diseases with risk of osteoporosis
Our echo densitometry device ‘Omnisense-7000’ (Israel) is destined to register ultrasound velocity in bone tissue, and anyone can participate in this study.