What is it about?

Fragility fractures are still a worldwide problem, in particular hip fractures. The Dual Xray Absorptiometry (DXA) is the current gold standard to detect patients at risk of fragility fractures. However, it is not perfect: a majority of fractured patients are not classified as osteoporotic using DXA. Amongst DXA alternative, quantitative ultrasound devices have the advantages of portability, absence of Xray, price usually lower than other clinical technologies. The BDAT (bi-directional axial transmission) device uses ultrasonic guided waves to estimate cortical bone parameters (thickness and porosity) at the forearm (radius) or leg (tibia). The device has been successfully tested in different clinical studies, in France, Germany, UK and Chile.

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Why is it important?

Due to population ageing, the worldwide number of hip fractures is expected to double between 2018 and 2050. Hip fragility fractures are particularly severe, for both the health system and the patient with his family, due to hospital stay and arduous recovery. Thus, it is important to detect people at high risk of fragility fractures, ideally on a large population scale, using transportable and non ionizing devices.


The BDAT device now provides robust and trustful measurements about clinical bone, using a user friendly protocol and interface. One can expect that it could now be used on a larger scale in a clinical environment, in particular in countries when DXA is not widely available.

Jean-Gabriel Minonzio
Universidad de Valparaiso

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Bi-Directional Axial Transmission measurements applied in a clinical environment, PLoS ONE, December 2022, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0277831.
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