New UK imaging technology could help identify osteoporosis risk

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Scientists at the University of Cambridge have developed new imaging technology, which they said does a more complete job of detecting bone weakness compared to existing bone density and multidetector computed tomography tests.

The new test uses CT imaging to measure the thickness of the cortical bone, a key indicator of fracture risk. The Cambridge scientists said this new test could result in improved treatment and diagnosis of osteoporosis. Whereas bone density tests detect mineral levels in the bones, the new test increases the accuracy of cortical bone measurements. Over time, doctors can chart changes in cortical bone measurements.

The Cambridge test also generates a 3D map that helps doctors identify threateningly thin areas. The test helps doctors generate successive images over time, which show them how well a patient is responding to osteoporosis treatments and preventive medications.