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Medicina (Buenos Aires)

versión impresa ISSN 0025-7680versión On-line ISSN 1669-9106


COINTRY, G. R.; CAPOZZA, R. F.; FERRETTI, J.L.  y  FROST, H. M.. Hacia un diagnóstico antropométrico de las osteopenias y un diagnóstico biomecánico de las osteoporosis. Medicina (B. Aires) [online]. 2003, vol.63, n.6, pp.737-747. ISSN 0025-7680.

The current (metabolic) conception of bone-weakening diseases regards bone strength as determined by a systemically-controlled «mineralized mass» which grows until it reaches a peak and then is lost at individually-specific rates. This concept disregards bone biomechanics. Skeletons are structures, it reaches of which depends on the stiffness and the spatial distribution rather than the volume of the calcified material. Rather than allowing a systemic regulation of their "mass" as a way to optimize their strength, bones autocontrol their stiffness by orienting bone formation and destruction as locally determined by the directional sensing, by osteocytes, of the strains caused by mechanical usage (gravity, muscle contractions). Bone mass and strength are just side products of that control. Endocrine-metabolic systems modulate non-directionally the work of bone cells as required for achieving a mineral equilibrium, despite the biomechanical controls, and can determine osteopenias and osteoporoses. Osteoporoses are not "intense osteopenias» (as per the current WHO's conception) but "osteopenic bone fragilities» (as recently stated by the NIH). The diagnosis of osteopenia is an anthropometric problem that can be solved densitometrically; but that of bone fragility is a biomechanical matter that requires evaluation of bone material's stiffness and distribution by other means ("resistometry"). For therapeutic purposes, osteopenias and osteoporoses should be also evaluated according to the relationship between bone mass or strength and muscle mass or strength in order to distinguish between "mechanical" (disuse) and "metabolic" etiologies (intrinsic bone lesion, or systemic disequilibrium), in which the bone / muscle proportionalty tends to remain normal or to deteriorate, respectively.

Palabras clave : Bone mass; Bone strength; Bone fragility; Bone biomechanics; Densitometry; Quantitative computed tomography; Osteopenia; Osteoporosis.

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