Osteoporosis constitutes a significant public health risk. An estimated 10.2 million adults in the United States >50 years of age have osteoporosis, a systemic condition that weakens the bones increasing the susceptibility for fractures. Approximately one-half of women and nearly one-third of men >50 years of age will sustain an osteoporotic fracture. These fractures are associated with a decrease in quality of life, diminished physical function, and reduced independence. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is the primary imaging modality used to screen for osteoporosis in women >65 years of age and men >70 years of age. DXA may be used in patients <65 years of age to evaluate bone mass density if there are additional risk factors. In certain situations, vertebral fracture assessment and trabecular bone score may further predict fracture risk, particularly in patients who are not yet osteoporotic but are in the range of osteopenia. Quantitative CT is useful in patients with advanced degenerative changes in the spine. Given the proven efficacy of pharmacologic therapy, the role of imaging to appropriately identify and monitor high-risk individuals is critical in substantially reducing osteoporosis-associated morbidity and mortality, and reducing the considerable cost to the health care system. The ACR Appropriateness Criteria are evidence-based guidelines for specific clinical conditions that are reviewed annually by a multidisciplinary expert panel. The guideline development and revision process support the systematic analysis of the medical literature from peer reviewed journals. Established methodology principles such as Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation or GRADE are adapted to evaluate the evidence. The RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method User Manual provides the methodology to determine the appropriateness of imaging and treatment procedures for specific clinical scenarios. In those instances where peer reviewed literature is lacking or equivocal, experts may be the primary evidentiary source available to formulate a recommendation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging