Investigators turn to new 3D imaging tech in bone study

Investigators studying an osteoporosis therapy are touting the use of new 3D imaging technology that allowed them to examine the therapy's effect on microstructures in the bone.

The scientists turned to high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography, or HRpQCT, which they say is markedly better than by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) technology, the current 'gold standard.' By looking inside the bone, they add, the researchers were able to track the specific effects of Daiichi Sankyo's Evista (raloxifene). They reviewed their work at the 37th European Symposium on Calcified Tissues in Glasgow.

"With the help of 3D images we can now actually see into the micro-structure of bones. This makes it possible to determine the efficacy of different treatments, as shown here with raloxifene," said Dr. Helmut Radspieler. "We now understand better and are also able to visualize that bone structure and not bone density alone is crucial to retain bone quality."

It was shown in clinical studies that raloxifene significantly increased bone mineral density by 2 percent in both osteopenic and osteoporotic postmenopausal women compared to a placebo. "Compared with other osteoporotic drugs the numeric BMD increase with raloxifene is relatively low, although the vertebral fracture risk reduction is similar."

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