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Measurement of bone density in the pediatric population

Bogunovic, Ljiljanaa; Doyle, Shevaun Mb; Vogiatzi, Maria Ga

doi: 10.1097/MOP.0b013e32831ec338
Orthopedics: Edited by Daniel W. Green

Purpose of review The purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive synopsis of pediatric bone density. Osteoporosis of the adult is a well established clinical problem, and algorithms to diagnose and treat this disease are recognized throughout the medical community. Osteoporosis or ‘low bone mass’ in pediatrics, on the other hand, is a rather new and evolving area, with certain unique diagnostic and clinical challenges.

Recent findings Recent findings in the literature include benefits and limitations of pediatric bone densitometry techniques, proper interpretation of the results of these various techniques, efforts to establish standards and guidelines for diagnosing low bone mass in children and adolescents, optimization of bone growth and mineral accrual for life, pediatric bone mineral density and fracture risk prediction, as well as a clearer awareness of bone fragility in children.

Summary Throughout the last decade, great strides have been made in our understanding of pediatric metabolic bone disease. These will be the focus of this review.

aWeill Cornell Medical College, USA

bDepartment of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York, USA

Correspondence to Dr Shevaun M. Doyle, MD, Assistant Attending of Orthopaedic Surgery, Department of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery, Hospital for Special Surgery, 535 East 70th Street, New York, NY 10021, USA Tel: +1 646 797 8816; fax: +1 646 797 8836; e-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.