Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Method for assessing hand bone density may prevent hip fractures

19.11.2012
A new study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows, that a technique for measuring bone density called digital X-ray radiogrammetry (or DXR) used on standard hand radiographs can help to identify patients with a higher risk of hip fracture.
The researchers believe that DXR, which is fully comparable with other, more costly methods, can be used preventively to identify people in the risk zone for osteoporosis – a disease estimated to effect some 200 million women worldwide.

Each year, approximately 1.7 million hip fractures occur worldwide (about 18,000 only in Sweden), mainly in elderly people and women with osteoporosis. A hip fracture can be particularly serious for the elderly; it often entails lengthy rehabilitation and leaves many patients unable to lead an independent life. Moreover, between 10 and 20 per cent of sufferers die from complications. Apart from the human suffering they cause, hip fractures are also very costly to the healthcare services in the amount of care they demand.

"If we can identify people with osteoporosis and treat them with drugs, we can reduce the risk of hip fracture," says principal investigator, Associate Professor Torkel Brismar of Karolinska Institutet’s Department of Clinical Sciences, Intervention and Technology. "Our research shows that DXR is a technique that lends itself well to this, maybe at general health check-ups, or screenings, for example, or when people seek treatment for a suspected hand or wrist fracture."

For the present study, which is published in the scientific journal European Radiology, the researchers analysed digital hand X-rays taken at three hospitals in Stockholm between 2000 and 2008. Their databank included pictures from over 8,000 men and women aged forty years and up. They used DXR to assess bone density in the hand, and by searching in the National Board of Health and Welfare fracture registry they were able to study the link between bone density in the hand and the risk of hip fracture.

Analysis of the sub-group of 122 patients who had suffered a post-X-ray hip fracture showed that they had significantly lower bone density than those who had not had a hip fracture, a result that held up also when adjusted for age. The DXR technique uses a normal X-ray of the hand to analyse the thickness and texture (i.e. small variations in density) of the metacarpal bones. The analysis is automatic and includes around 1,000 measurements. The standard method of measuring bone density is currently DXA (dual-energy X-ray absorbtiometry).

In this study, the researchers showed that DXR is at least as effective as DXA, which means that the former might one day be an important feature of osteoporosis examinations (e.g. as part of a general screening). Several pilot projects are underway in several counties to ascertain whether DXR screening of bone density is a useful way of preventing hip fractures.

The study was financed with ALF funds (provided through the agreement on medical training and research) and also a grant from the Stockholm County Council. The material was analysed free of charge by DXR-software developer Sectra, which also employs two of the study’s co-authors.

Publication: ‘Digital X-ray radiogrammetry of hand or wrist radiographs can predict hip fracture risk; a study in 5,420 women and 2,837 men’, Wilczek ML, Kälvesten J, Algulin J, Beiki O, Brismar TB, European Radiology, online 19 November 2012, DOI 10.1007/s00330-012-2706-9.

For further information, please contact:

Torkel Brismar, Associate Professor, Consultant
Department of Clinical Sciences, Intervention and Technology
Tel: +46 (0)739-81 33 54
Email: torkel.brismar@ki.se
Michael Wilczek, Doctoral Student, Foundation Doctor
Department of Clinical Sciences, Intervention and Technology
Tel: +46 (0)070-459 54 45
Email: michael.wilczek@ki.se

Katarina Sternudd | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht The cytoskeleton of neurons has been found to be involved in Alzheimer's disease
18.01.2019 | University of the Basque Country

nachricht Bioinspired nanoscale drug delivery method developed by WSU, PNNL researchers
10.01.2019 | Washington State University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Ten-year anniversary of the Neumayer Station III

The scientific and political community alike stress the importance of German Antarctic research

Joint Press Release from the BMBF and AWI

The Antarctic is a frigid continent south of the Antarctic Circle, where researchers are the only inhabitants. Despite the hostile conditions, here the Alfred...

Im Focus: Ultra ultrasound to transform new tech

World first experiments on sensor that may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles

The new sensor - capable of detecting vibrations of living cells - may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles.

Im Focus: Flying Optical Cats for Quantum Communication

Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.

In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...

Im Focus: Nanocellulose for novel implants: Ears from the 3D-printer

Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.

It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:

Im Focus: Elucidating the Atomic Mechanism of Superlubricity

The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.

One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Our digital society in 2040

16.01.2019 | Event News

11th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Aachen, 3-4 April 2019

14.01.2019 | Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Additive manufacturing reflects fundamental metallurgical principles to create materials

18.01.2019 | Materials Sciences

How molecules teeter in a laser field

18.01.2019 | Life Sciences

The cytoskeleton of neurons has been found to be involved in Alzheimer's disease

18.01.2019 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>