Osteoporosis is a disease of the skeleton associated with a change in bone structure. Reduction in bone density leads to a high risk of pathologic fractures. Injuries arise from ordinary impact, sudden movements, minor drops, even the cough. Frequently affected bones in the spine, hip, ribs, and wrists.
The disease is called the silent epidemic of our century. Because the disease develops without symptoms, does not hurt, does not cause deformities of the musculoskeletal system, and its existence is patients learn after the development of complications.
According to statistics, every third woman and every fifth man older than 40 years of age suffer from osteoporosis. The incidence approaches the incidence of strokes, heart attacks and cancer. As osteoporotic fractures are becoming a big problem for physicians and their patients. Skeletal trauma significantly impairs the life of patients and sometimes cause disability and mortality in older people. Treatment of pathological fractures of long and costly. That’s why timely and early diagnosis of osteoporosis becomes a matter not only of individual patients but also the state as a whole.
In the body continuously there are processes of formation (remodeling) and destruction (resorption) of bone tissue. In a healthy person, these processes are balanced. But in pathology of resorption and building of bone are not coordinated, resulting in loss of bone mass and release of biochemical substances. Their determination in serum is the basis for the early detection of the disease.
Diagnosis of osteoporosis is based on the number of non-invasive studies that are safe, not difficult to execute and, if necessary, are held several times in one patient.
The methods of diagnosis include:
- x-ray examination;
- bone densitometry;
- biochemical analysis of specific markers of pathology.
The x-ray analysis is uninformative method of diagnosis, as it only allows to suspect pathological processes in the bone characteristic features in the picture.
Densitometry is several technologies to determine the bone density. Distinguish between x-ray, ultrasound and computer tomographic densitometry.
Obtained by densitometry data are checked by computer analysis which calculates the sizes, thickness, porosity of the bones is determined by their bulk density.
Densitometry by ultrasound has several advantages in the diagnosis of osteoporosis: does not require a lot of time, does not contain radiation applied to children and expectant mothers.
An important role in the diagnosis is the blood test for osteoporosis. In the patient’s blood are determined by special markers, allowing to determine the severity and degree of progression of the disease.
How to identify osteoporosis in the blood? It is sufficient to determine the following metrics:
- Alkaline phosphatase – enzyme found in osteoblasts. Serves as an indicator of bone destruction.
- Osteocalcin – protein, a specific marker of bone formation tissue.
- Total calcium is a macronutrient, an important component of building a skeleton. The degree of osteoporosis show up in various fluctuations of the calcium concentration in the serum.
- Inorganic phosphorus is one of the main components of bone. Salt of phosphorus involved in mineral metabolism. Changes of phosphorus content observed in different pathologies, including osteoporosis.
- Parathyroid hormone regulates the exchange of phosphorus salts and calcium in the body.
- Thyroid hormones: TSH, T4.
- Sex hormones (testosterone, estradiol).
Highly specific indicator of the metabolic processes of bone tissue is Deoxypyridinoline (DPID) – a marker of bone destruction, which can be detected in the urine.
People older than 50 years, patients suffering from rheumatic and endocrine disorders using glucocorticoid drugs, women in menopause need regular examination. What tests to take, tell a therapist or endocrinologist. In some laboratories, for example, in vitro, there are special profiles, which include biochemical analysis of blood and urine tests for osteoporosis.
Indicators of metabolic processes in the bone allow you to:
- promptly identify patients with impaired bone metabolism in a preventive medical examination;
- to predict the level of destruction of bone and changes in its density;
- to assess the effectiveness and monitor the assigned therapy.