J Korean Med Sci.  2015 Feb;30(2):194-198. 10.3346/jkms.2015.30.2.194.

Practical Use of Bone Scan in Patients with an Osteoporotic Vertebral Compression Fracture

  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Gil Medical Center, Gachon University, Incheon, Korea. abgajs0710@naver.com
  • 2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Seoul Jaeil Hospital, Pyeongtaek, Korea.
  • 3Department of Nuclear Medicine, Gil Medical Center, Gachon University, Incheon, Korea.


Rib fractures are one of main causes of chest or flank pain when related to an osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture (OVCF). The authors investigated the incidence and risk factors of rib fracture in 284 patients with OVCF using bone scans and evaluated the feasibility as to whether bone scans could be utilized as a useful screening tool. Hot uptake lesions on ribs were found in 122 cases (43.0%). The factors analyzed were age, sex, number and locations of fractured vertebrae, BMD, and compression rates as determined using initial radiography. However, no statistical significances were found. In 16 cases (5.6%), there were concurrent multiple fractures of both the thoracic and lumbar spines not detected by single site MRI. Sixty cases (21.1%) of OVCF with the a compression rate of less than 15% could not be identified definitely by initial plain radiography, but were confirmed by bone scans. It is concluded that a bone scan has outstanding ability for the screening of rib fractures associated with OVCF. Non-adjacent multiple fractures in both thoracic and lumbar spines and fractures not identified definitely by plain radiography were detected on bone scans, which provided a means for determining management strategies and predicting prognosis.


Osteoporosis; Spine; Compression Fracture; Rib Fracture; Osteoporotic Fracture
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