Computerized osteoporosis detection

Oct 01, 2012

A computerized approach to examining patient bone X-rays for diagnosis of osteoporosis could side-step the subjectivity associated with visual examination, according to a new research paper in the International Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Technology published in October.

Neelesh Kumar of the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation in Chandigarh, India, and colleagues recognized that the osteoporosis is on the increase but that diagnosis using X-ray images of the patient's skeleton often lead to false positives and false negatives because visual examination, no matter how expert, is subjective. They have now developed a new approach based on the digitization of the X-ray images and estimation of the bone porosity associated with osteoporosis based on a sophisticated . X-rays are used in four times out of five for the diagnosis of osteoporosis, usually where other more expensive or inconvenient tests such as dual X-ray (DXA) are precluded.

The (WHO) defines osteoporosis as "a skeletal disorder characterized by compromised predisposing a person to an increased risk of fracture". X-ray examination usually confirms the diagnosis at the severe or late-stage of development. However, a computerized system could allow much earlier diagnosis to be made and so give patients the opportunity to be treated more successfully before the disorder becomes a potentially debilitating illness.

The addition of a reference index to the X-ray image is key to the success of the new computerized technique. In conventional methods, the X-ray source quality, the film and its processing quality are possible sources of error but in the new system these sources are all but removed by the digital index on the film, the team says.

The team has tested the system on 40 elderly with known diagnoses. 9 out of 10 of the females had osteoporosis, almost two-thirds of the men. The error rate is less than 2 percent, the team says. The team has begun the compilation of a knowledge base contained validated X-ray images to which the computer algorithm compares new X-rays. This database can be added to with new verified images once a definitive diagnosis has been made and so the system will improve with use.

"The new tool is a cost-effective solution, as it uses the existing facilities available in hospitals and thus, imparts no extra financial burden on healthcare providers or patients for quantitative estimation of osteoporosis," the researchers say. They point out that the same computerized diagnosis could be adapted to analyze bone deformity, scoliosis measurement, X-ray cracks and fractures.

Explore further: Faradair team determined to make hybrid BEHA fly

More information: "Computer aided diagnostic tool for osteoporosis estimation" in Int. J. Biomedical Engineering and Technology, 2012, 9, 316-324. DOI: 10.1504/IJBET.2012.049216

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Osteoporosis care at risk in the United States

Nov 12, 2008

The reimbursement cuts run contrary to existing federal initiatives already in place to increase fracture prevention efforts and improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis.

Simple ultrasound exam may predict osteoporosis risk

Jun 24, 2008

OAK BROOK, Ill. – An ultrasound exam of the heel may be able to predict if a woman is at heightened risk for fractures due to osteoporosis, according to a new multicenter study being published in the July issue of the journal ...

A new method for more accurate assessment of osteoporosis

Mar 08, 2012

Laser-based measurements are proving to be a promising method for the assessment of osteoporosis. The team led by Professor Jussi Timonen has developed an ultrasound technique that use laser beams for a rapid and accurate ...

Recommended for you

Faradair team determined to make hybrid BEHA fly

15 hours ago

Aiming to transform their concept into a real success, the Faradair team behind a six-seat Bio-Electric-Hybrid-Aircraft (BEHA) have taken this hybrid aircraft project into a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. ...

How polymer banknotes were invented

Nov 26, 2014

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and CSIRO's 20-year "bank project" resulted in the introduction of the polymer banknote – the first ever of its kind, and the most secure form of currency in the world. ...

Enabling the hearing impaired to locate human speakers

Nov 26, 2014

New wireless microphones systems developed at EPFL should allow the hearing impaired to aurally identify, even with closed eyes, the location of the person speaking. This new technology will be used in classrooms ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.