The use of pulse-echo ultrasound in women with a recent non-vertebral fracture to identify those without osteoporosis and/or a subclinical vertebral fracture: a pilot study

P. van den Berg*, D.H. Schweitzer, P.M.M. van Haard, P.P. Geusens, J.P. van den Bergh

*Corresponding author for this work

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A Summary A pilot study on the use of P-EU to identify patients without osteoporosis and/or a subclinical vertebral fracture after a recently sustained non-vertebral fracture (NVF).Introduction Screening with portable devices at emergency departments or plaster rooms could be of interest to limit referrals for dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and vertebral fracture assessment (VFA). We calculated the number of negative tests for osteoporosis and/or subclinical vertebral fractures (VFs) using pulse-echo ultrasonometry (P-UE) at different thresholds.Patients and methods In this cross-sectional study, 209 consecutive women of 50-70 years with a recent non-vertebral fracture (NVF) were studied at the Fracture Liaison Service (FLS) of one hospital. All women received DXA/VFA and P-EU (Bindex (R)) assessments. Various P-EU thresholds (based on the density index (DI, g/cm(2))) were analyzed to calculate the best balance between true negative (indeed no osteoporosis and/or subclinical VF) and false negative tests (osteoporosis and/or subclinical VF according to DXA/VFA).Results Eighty-three women had osteoporosis (40%) and 17 women at least one VF (8%). Applying the manufacturer's recommended P-EU threshold (DI 0.844 g/cm(2)) being their proposed cut-off for not having hip osteoporosis resulted in 77 negative tests (37%, 31% true negative and 6% false negative tests). A DI of 0.896 g/cm(2) resulted in 40 negative tests (19.3%) (38 true negative (18.3%) and 2 false negative tests (1.0%)).Conclusion The application of P-EU enables the identification of a substantial proportion of women with recent non-vertebral fractures at the FLS who would not need a DXA/VFA referral because they had no osteoporosis and/or subclinical vertebral fractures. The most conservative P-EU threshold resulted in 18.3% true negative tests verified by DXA/VFA against 1% false negative test results.
Original languageEnglish
Article number56
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Osteoporosis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2020


  • density
  • diagnosis
  • dxa/vfa
  • elderly-women
  • fls
  • implementation
  • liaison service
  • management
  • non-vertebral fracture
  • osteoporosis
  • practice framework
  • prevention
  • pulse-echo ultrasound
  • risk
  • subclinical vertebral fracture
  • x-ray
  • Subclinical vertebral fracture
  • FLS
  • Osteoporosis
  • Non-vertebral fracture
  • RISK
  • X-RAY
  • Pulse-echo ultrasound

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