Heather B. Hunt, Eve Donnelly. Bone Quality Assessment Techniques: Geometric, Compositional, and Mechanical Characterization from Macroscale to Nanoscale. Clinic Rev Bone Miner Metab. 2016


This review presents an overview of the characterization techniques available to experimentally evaluate bone quality, defined as the geometric and material factors that contribute to fracture resistance independently of areal bone mineral density (aBMD) assessed by dualenergy X-ray absorptiometry. The methods available for characterization of the geometric, compositional, and mechanical properties of bone across multiple length scales are summarized, along with their outcomes and their advantages and disadvantages. Examples of how each technique is used are discussed, as well as practical concerns such as sample preparation and whether or not each testing method is destructive. Techniques that can be used in vivo and those that have been recently improved or developed are emphasized, including high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography to evaluate geometric properties and reference point indentation to evaluate material properties. Because no single method can completely characterize bone quality, we provide a framework for how multiple characterization methods can be used together to generate a more comprehensive analysis of bone quality to complement aBMD in fracture risk assessment.

DOI 10.1007/s12018-016-9222-4

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