Bone loss: Quantitative imaging techniques for assessing bone mass in rheumatoid arthritis
Department of Radiology, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA
Arthritis Res 2000, 2:446-450 doi:10.1186/ar126Published: 3 August 2000
Osteoporosis is associated with low bone mass and microarchitectural deterioration of bone tissue with clinical manifestation of low trauma fractures. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a risk factor due to generalized and articular bone loss. This minireview presents past and current bone mass measurement techniques in RA. These techniques include: plain radiographs, absorptiometry, quantitative computed tomography (QCT) and ultrasound. The most widely used technique is dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). RA patients have lower bone mass as compared with normals and substantial bone loss may occur early after the onset of disease. Measurement of bone mineral density (BMD) at the hand using either DXA or ultrasound maybe a useful tool in the management of RA patients.