Study of DXA-derived cortical bone thickness in assessing hip fracture risk
Hip fracture has been identified as one of the main health problems in the elderly. To improve the accuracy in assessing subject-specific hip fracture risk, this study proposed normalized cortical bone thickness (NCBT) estimated from patient’s hip DXA as an alternative predictor of hip fracture risk. Hip fracture risk index (HFRI) derived from DXA-based finite element model was utilized as a baseline for evaluating the effectiveness of NCBT in predicting hip fracture risk. It was found that NCBT at the lateral side of the narrowest femoral neck had the strongest correlation with femoral neck HFRI among the six locations of the proximal femur. This study suggests that it is possible to use NCBT as a surrogate for a quick evaluation of hip fracture risk. Yet its clinical performances such as sensitivity to therapy effectiveness and the ability to discriminate clinical fracture cases will be investigated in a future study.