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Multiple studies have demonstrated increased rates of osteopenia and osteoporosis in HIV-infected patients but there have been no published studies on current screening practices. We conducted a retrospective chart review of 2924 patients attending an urban HIV clinic. Thirty patients (1%) had dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans. Patients undergoing DXA scans were more likely to be older, women, and have nondetectable HIV viral load and CD4 count ≥200. The most frequently cited indications for screening were perimenopausal or postmenopausal status and HIV infection. Of the patients screened, 96% had osteopenia or osteoporosis with a median T-score of -1.9 and a median of 3.8 osteoporosis risk factors in addition to HIV.  Of the 20 practitioners in the clinic, only 7 had patients with screening DXA scans. DXA scans are underutilized in the HIV population given the high rate of osteopenia and osteoporosis detected in this study.


S A Dickinson, L E Fantry. Use of Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA) Scans in HIV-Infected Patients. Journal of the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (Chicago, Ill. : 2002). 2012 Jul-Aug;11(4):239-44

PMID: 22511611

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