Bone mineral density (BMD) is one of the strongest predictors of fracture risk, but today’s standard densitometric method, Dual X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA) based measurement of areal BMD (aBMD) , has limitations, particularly for characterizing changes in bone status in subjects on treatment. Quantitative Computed Tomography (QCT) is a potential alternative for the future because in addition to volumetric density it permits assessment of bone microstructure and calculation of whole bone strength.
QCT can be carried out on any state-of-the art CT scanner. The Clinic of Radiology and Neuroradiology operates the following CT systems: a Siemens Somatom 64. QCT can be performed to assess bone mineral density (BMD) by placing a calibration phantom underneath the patient during scanning. Calibration phantoms manufactured by Siemens Medical Systems, Erlangen, Germany and Mindways Software, Austin, Texas, USA for standard bone densitometry and longer phantoms for assessment of the entire thoracolumbar spine including the BDC phantom by QRM GmbH, Möhrendorf, Germany) and the INTable Calibration Pad by Image Analysis Inc., Columbia, Kentucky, USA can be used. For the quantification of bone microstructure the in-house software package StructuralInsight has been developed.