Assessing the utility of novel technologies to better characterize structure and strength in growing bone: an MRI and pQCT study

Each year in Canada more than 24,000 people will fracture hips due to weakened bones caused by osteoporosis. Current ability to predict risk of hip fracture is limited. Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is used to assess bone density, but it shows a two-dimensional representation of bone, which is a three-dimensional structure. DXA is also unable to assess the structural properties of bone, which are a major factor in bone strength. Sarah Manske is evaluating whether two emerging technologies can accurately measure bone structure and strength. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can measure cross-sections of bones to evaluate strength, without radiation exposure. Quantitative computed tomography (QCT) can assess bone in three dimensions. Sarah aims to develop a model integrating different imaging technologies to provide a more comprehensive picture of fracture risk. The information could be used to target preventative health strategies to help those at greatest risk of hip fracture.