There is as yet no agreement about the criteria by which to arrive at an imaging diagnosis of a vertebral fracture. Because high-grade fractures result in alterations in vertebral shape, 1 possible avenue of diagnosis has been to quantitate changes in vertebral shape. The result has been a variety of methods for the relative and absolute measurements of vertebral dimensions. Such measurements have also lent themselves to automated computed analysis. The number of techniques reflects the absence of any consensus about the best. The semiquantitative technique proposed by Genant has become the most widely used and has served the field well for comparative purposes. Its use in higher grade fractures has been widely endorsed, if some concepts (e.g., short vertebral height-vertebrae) are at variance with lower grades of fracturing. Vertebral morphometry may be the only recourse in high volume epidemiological and interventional studies.
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