Objective: Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is the most commonly used method for evaluating bone mineral density (BMD) in children and adolescents. An innovative echographic approach for osteoporosis diagnosis, directly applicable on both femoral neck and lumbar spine, has been recently introduced and clinically validated through single-center and multicenter studies in a adult population. This developed approach has been subsequently defined as Radiofrequency Echographic Multi Spectrometry (REMS). The main output parameter of this fully non-ionizing technique is BMDUS, a diagnostic index expressed as grams/cm2, which is measured directly on lumbar vertebrae or proximal femur and has shown significant correlations and good agreement with the corresponding BMD values in adult population. The aim of the study was to evaluate diagnostic accuracy of REMS technology in assessing the bone status at femoral neck and at lumbar spine through the comparison with DXA in adolescents.
Methods: In this preliminary study we evaluate 6 ambulatory adolescents (aged 15.7±1.5 years). All subjects underwent spinal and femoral DXA and echographic scan of the same anatomical sites performed with the REMS approach.
Results: The BMD values by DXA and REMS technique are similar at lumbar spine (Z-score LS by DXA =−0.37; Z-score LS by REMS =−0.37, P=n.s.) and at femoral neck (Z-score LS by DXA =−0.98; Z-score LS by REMS =−0.96, P=n.s.). Moreover, densitometric values provided by the two techniques showed an high degree of Pearsons correlation, with r=0.90, P<0.01 at femoral neck and r=0.91, P<0.01 at lumbar spine.
Conclusions: This preliminary study has shown that REMS appears to be an accurate non-ionizing technology able to assess the bone status at lumbar spine and at femoral neck in children and adolescent subjects. The attractiveness of the use of REMS for bone measurements in children and adolescents lies in its lack of ionizing radiation, its ease of use, portability and low cost. However, further studies are needed to establish whether its primary role will be as a complementary measurement or as a replacement for dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry.
Disclosure: The authors declared no competing interests.