Test Findings

Generalised Osteopaenia



  • Look for a reduction in bone density, either generally or surrounding a joint.
  • Generalised osteopaenia suggests an imbalance in bone deposition and resorption, placing bone at risk of pathological fractures.
    • Causes of Generalised Osteopaenia

    • Post-menopausal
    • Senile (age-related)
    • Genetic - osteogenesis imperfecta
    • Metabolic - hyperparathyroidism, hypogonadism, hyperthyroidism, Cushing’s disease, Addison’s disease, vitamin D deficiency, ESRF, paraneoplastic syndrome, T1DM, acromegaly
    • Malnutrition - eating disorder, poor intake
    • Malabsorption - coeliac disease, IBD, pancreatic insufficiency
    • Hepatic - chronic hepatitis, alcoholic liver disease, biliary cirrhosis
    • Marrow failure - leukaemia / lymphoma, multiple myeloma, thalassaemia, sickle cell anaemia, haemochromatosis, amyloidosis, sarcoidosis
    • Transplant - marrow, heart, lung, liver, kidney
    • Medications - corticosteroids, chemotherapy drugs, anticonvulsants, PPIs, SSRIs, lithium, aluminium
  • On a plain x-ray it is not possible to distinguish between osteopaenia and osteoporosis.
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