Peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) has mainly been used as a research tool in children. To evaluate the clinical utility of pQCT and formulate recommendations for its use in children, the International Society of Clinical Densitometry (ISCD) convened a task force to review the literature and propose areas of consensus and future research. The types of pQCT technology available, the clinical application of pQCT for bone health assessment in children, the important elements to be included in a pQCT report, and quality control monitoring techniques were evaluated. The review revealed a lack of standardization of pQCT techniques, and a paucity of data regarding differences between pQCT manufacturers, models and software versions and their impact in pediatric assessment. Measurement sites varied across studies. Adequate reference data, a critical element for interpretation of pQCT results, were entirely lacking, although some comparative data on healthy children were available. The elements of the pQCT clinical report and quality control procedures are similar to those recommended for dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Future research is needed to establish evidence-based criteria for the selection of the measurement site, scan acquisition and analysis parameters, and outcome measures. Reference data that sufficiently characterize the normal range of variability in the population also need to be established.
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