British scientists discover new osteoporosis detection technique

Scientists at the University of Cambridge have developed new imaging technology, which they said does a more complete job of detecting bone weakness compared to existing bone density and multidetector computed tomography (CT) tests, McKnights reports.

The new test uses CT imaging to measure the thickness of the cortical bone, which is a key indicator of fracture risk. The scientists said this new test could result in improved treatment and diagnosis of osteoporosis, according to the news source.

Whereas bone density tests detect mineral levels in the bones, the new test increases the accuracy of cortical bone measurements. Over time, doctors can chart changes in cortical bone measurements.

The test also generates a three-dimensional map that can help doctors identify dangerously weak areas. It can also help doctors generate successive images over time, which show them how well a patient is responding to osteoporosis treatments and preventive medications.

Approximately 34 million Americans are estimated to have low bone mass and are at higher risk for osteoporosis, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation.