Osteoporosis is a common skeletal disorder which is underdiagnosed and undertreated. Consequent fragility fractures are associated with high morbidity and mortality. Prevention of these fractures is possible by timely osteoporosis screening followed by timely therapeutic interventions when needed. Utilizing all available modalities such as bone density measurements on preexisting CT scans could help narrow the diagnostic gap.
To demonstrate the feasibility and clinical utility of opportunistic osteoporosis screening in Kuwait using QCT, aiming to increase screening rates in a country with a relatively high prevalence of osteoporosis and an alarming trend of increasing incidence of fractures.
At a tertiary referral center, all abdominal CT scans performed on females ≥60 years old between 12/2020 and 12/2021 were retrospectively utilized for asynchronous QCT acquisition. The average volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD) was calculated, and rates of osteoporosis (vBMD < 80 mg/cm3 calcium hydroxyapatite) and osteopenia (80-120 mg/cm3) were determined. CT images were reviewed to assess for the presence of vertebral fractures. For each patient, the electronic health record was reviewed for any previous DXA scans.
vBMD was calculated in 305 females ≥60 years old (mean [SD] 71 [8.7], range 60-93). Low bone mass was detected in 258 patients (84.6%); 148 (48.5%) met criteria for osteopenia and 110 (36.1%) for osteoporosis. Osteoporotic vertebral fractures were observed in 64 (21.0%) study participants. Only 73 patients (23.9% of total) had a previous DXA documented in the reviewed health records. For 231 patients who were ≥65 years old, who would routinely qualify for a screening DXA, only 63 (27.3%) had a documented DXA available.
vBMD measurements obtained by opportunistic QCT had comparable rates of osteopenia and osteoporosis detection to those previously reported using DXA in a similar population in Kuwait. These findings suggest that opportunistic QCT on preexisting CT scans can be effectively utilized to narrow gaps in osteoporosis screening.