Home Health Education Will the New Ultrasound Gadget Change DEXA Bone Density Testing?

Will the New Ultrasound Gadget Change DEXA Bone Density Testing?

Will the New Ultrasound Gadget Change DEXA Bone Density Testing?


Did you ever stick your foot in a tool that measured your bone density on the heel? In that case, this was an ultrasound system that tried to detect bone density and bone energy by sending soundwaves via the bone. I’ve been watching the evolution of ultrasound testing over the a long time and have seen a number of analysis articles  suggesting that bone ultrasound testing may effectively be capable of uncover the strength-determining qualities of bone along with bone density.

For instance, in 1998 European researchers prompt that quantitative ultrasound (QUS) represented a promising approach for the prognosis of osteoporosis and that this radiation-free know-how offered data not solely on bone density but in addition on bone high quality and bone energy. (1)

The brand new modern-day ultrasound bone density check

Now twenty years later Italian scientists have developed a contemporary ultrasound system that’s able to measuring bone on the hip and the backbone. Intensive testing executed between 2013 and 2016 means that this new Radiofrequency Echographic Multi Spectrometry (REMS) system could also be an efficient radiation-free option to assess bone density and, much more, to guage bone energy and fracture threat. The ultrasound system often called Echolight was lately authorised by the FDA and medical doctors within the US are starting to offer it a strive.

Just a few days in the past my consumer Valerie reported that she was given a free check drive of this new ultrasound system. She was supplied a free Echolight check whereas attending an train program, and regardless that simply 3 days earlier than she had had her common DEXA bone density check, she accepted the supply. The system is radiation-free, and the check is fast and straightforward, so she was recreation for a strive. Because it turned out, nonetheless, the 2 bone density measuring units delivered fairly completely different outcomes. The brand new ultrasound system reported considerably decrease readings than the DEXA.

This disparity in check outcomes impressed me to dig somewhat deeper into the Echolight (REMS) analysis. Taking a look at their printed articles and speaking to people educated on this new know-how confirmed my suspicion that there was an issue right here. (2, 3, 4)

We have now identified for a very long time that many errors can happen utilizing the usual DEXA bone density testing machines. For instance, the DEXA is operator dependent and placement on the system is a vital variable. Entire articles have been written on frequent errors incurred with DEXA testing (5). Much more essential to me is the truth that bone density testing by DEXA doesn’t precisely predict fracture threat, in that the overwhelming majority of people that fracture shouldn’t have an “osteoporotic bone density” by DEXA. (6)

ultra sound

So which bone density check was extra correct in Valerie’s case? And can REMS exchange DEXA?

My solutions to those questions are a piece in progress. I seemed on the analysis and contacted Dr. Kimberly Zambito, an orthopedic surgeon who was lately educated in Echolight testing. Having executed 25+ Echolight REMS scans thus far, Dr. Zambito discovered the brand new Echolight scan reviews to be in line with DEXA when it comes to bone mineral density, apart from these sufferers who had poor high quality DEXA scans. I suppose time will inform if cautious researchers will give you the identical outcomes. (7)

Whereas it’s nonetheless not clear how this may prove in Valerie’s case, or if the brand new ultrasound will exchange DEXA, I wished to share this new know-how with you. I’ve an intuitive feeling that ultrasound has the potential to offer a safer and much more correct option to assess bone density, and maybe it would even inform us a bit extra about bone energy and fracture threat.

If you’re supplied an Echolight check, and it occurs to be across the similar time as your DEXA bone density check, strive it out. I might like to see the outcomes. And I shall be following this analysis and should doubtless interview just a few of the important thing scientists and physicians utilizing this know-how.

Keep robust, and keep tuned in.




  1. Prins, S. H., et al. 1998. The function of quantitative ultrasound within the evaluation of bone: A overview. Medical Physiology (Oxford, England) 18(1):3-17.
  2. Di Paola, M., et al. 2019. Radiofrequency echographic multispectrometry in contrast with twin X-ray absorptiometry for osteoporosis prognosis on lumbar backbone and femoral neck. Osteoporosis Worldwide 30:391-402.
  3. Adami, G., et al. 2020. Radiofrequency echographic multi spectrometry for the prediction of incident fragility fractures: A 5-year follow-up examine. Bone 134:115297.
  4. Cortet, B., et al. 2021. Radiofrequency echographic multi spectrometry (REMS) for the prognosis of osteoporosis in a European multicenter medical context. Bone 143:115786.
  5. Kaleta, M., and S. Wroń 2001. The most typical errors within the densitometric prognosis of osteoporosis. Ortopedia, Traumatologia, Rehabilitacja 3(3):338-344.
  6. Brown, S. E. 2015. How can we inform who will fracture? Past bone mineral density to the brand new world of fracture threat evaluation. Higher Bones web site, accessed April 21, 2021.
  7. Dea Tomai Pitinca, M., et al. 2021. Might radiofrequency echographic multi-spectrometry (REMS) overcome the restrictions of BMD by DXA associated to artifacts? A collection of three instances. Journal of Ultrasound in Drugs. DOI: 10.1002/jum.15665 printed on-line 21 February 2021.


Dr. Susan BrownI’m Dr. Susan E Brown. I’m a medical nutritionist, medical anthropologist, author and motivational speaker. Be taught my time-tested 6 step pure method to bone well being in my on-line programs.



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