Diagnosis of Osteoporotic Vertebral Fractures: Importance of Recognition and Description by Radiologists

Leon Lenchik; Lee F. Rogers; Pierre D. Delmas; Harry K. Genant


Am J Roentgenol. 2004;183(4) 

In This Article


Despite the difficulties inherent in the assessment of vertebral fractures, their diagnosis is essential for appropriate clinical management. Having a vertebral fracture is a strong risk factor for subsequent fractures, both at new vertebral sites, at the proximal femur, and at other sites susceptible to osteoporosis. As many as two thirds of vertebral fractures do not manifest as acute painful events; therefore, careful scrutiny of all pertinent imaging studies (including lateral chest radiography and DXA) for the presence of vertebral fracture should be encouraged. Using a standardized approach to reporting of vertebral fractures should lead to better communication with clinicians and thus improve the care of patients with osteoporosis.


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