Siavash Ghavami –
Max Denis –
Adriana Gregory –
Jeremy Webb –
Mahdi Bayat –
Mostafa Fatemi –
Azra Alizad –

Mayo Clinic, College of Medicine and Science,
Department of Radiology, Department of Physiology and Biomedical Engineering
200 1st St SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA

Popular version of paper 2pBA5, “Vibro-Acoustic Method for Detection of Osteopenia and Osteoporosis”
Presented Tuseday afternoon, May 8, 2018, 2:15-2:30 PM, GREENWAY F/G
175th ASA Meeting, Minneapolis

Osteoporosis, a condition with low bone mass and micro-architectural deterioration, is the most common bone disease in adults that leads to skeletal fragility and increased risk of fracture. Age-related osteoporosis is by far the most common form of the disease, most commonly in women after menopause and older men. Osteopenia refers to bone density that is lower than normal peak density, but not low enough to be classified as osteoporosis. Bone density is a measurement of how dense and strong the bones are. If the bone density is low compared to the normal peak density, the bone is said to have osteopenia. Having osteopenia means there is a greater risk that, as time passes, it may develop bone density that is very low compared to normal, known as osteoporosis.

Assessment of bone mass and bone quality is essential for early detection of osteopenia and osteoporosis in people at risk as well as for monitoring the efficacy of various therapeutic regimens projected to reduce fractures associated with these diseases. Estimations of bone mineral density (BMD) and double energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) have played an important role in bone evaluation and prediction of fractures risks in recent years. Although DXA is now the gold standard for bone mass measurements in adults, this method uses x-ray which can be harmful especially if used repeatedly.

In this study, a new noninvasive method is proposed for detection of osteoporosis and osteopenia. In this method a pulse of ultrasound is used to induces vibrations in the bone, where these vibrations produce an acoustic wave that is measured by a sensitive hydrophone placed on the skin. The resulting acoustic signals are used to measure wave velocity in the bone, which in turn used to assess the bone quality. The accuracy of wave velocity estimation in the bone is affected by the complex acoustic environment. The acoustic wave in this environment can be thought of as a composition of several simpler wave components. We used an efficient technique to decompose received signal into constructing components. This allowed us to choose the wave component that represents bone vibration. Using this component we estimate wave velocity in the bone and used it to decide about the bone abnormality.

The study was done on 27 volunteers, out of those 8 had osteopenia, 6 had osteoprosis, and 13 were healthy with no bone abnormality. For each volunteer the right and left tibia (the long bone in lower leg) were tested. By comparing the wave velocities, we were able to correctly identify those osteoporosis and osteopenia from healthy individual in up to 89% of the cases. This technique can provide physicians a safe, low-cost, and portable tool for diagnosis of osteoporosis and osteopenia in patients.


Fig. 1. Estimated wave velocity in osteopenic osteoporotic and normal bones.

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