Skeletal Health, Osteoporosis Center and Bone Density Unit

The Skeletal Health and Osteoporosis Center and Bone Density Unit is directed by Meryl S. LeBoff, MD, who founded this Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) in 1987. Since that time, it has become a multifaceted program including research, education, clinical care, and a bone densitometry unit that is noted for its standards of good reproducibility. The Skeletal Health and Osteoporosis Center and Bone Density Unit seeks to meet the goals of the Partners HealthCare System: to provide the highest quality care with the best possible outcomes.

Specific areas of expertise include osteoporosis, metabolic bone disease, and disorders in skeletal and calcium homeostasis. Our program offers a full integration of clinical, research, and educational programs, and a truly cross‑disciplinary interaction among numerous departments and subspecialties. Dr. LeBoff and members of the Skeletal Health and Osteoporosis Center and Bone Density Unit work closely with Orthopedics, Women’s Health, Pediatric Endocrinology, Oncology, and Rheumatology. There is a large gap in the care of patients with osteoporotic fractures. For example <20% of patients with fragility fractures are treated for their osteoporosis. There is a need nationwide to increase the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis in patients who have osteoporotic fractures.

The Skeletal Health and Osteoporosis Center and the Bone Density Unit are located in the Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Hypertension Division at 221 Longwood Avenue. This location includes 980 square feet for bone density testing, patient registration, research, administration, and teaching. It also includes a state-of-the-art clinical bone density unit that consists of two bone density machines (Hologic Delphi and Discovery) for clinical and research purposes, a bone ultrasound machine, a peripheral quantitative computed tomography machine (pQCT), and administrative and research space. We offer the latest techniques to measure bone density, hip structural analyses, and body composition. We also offer imaging procedures to determine three-dimensional constructs of bone and muscle. The outpatient clinical services are adjacent to the Bone Density Unit in the Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Hypertension Division, and include six examination rooms, phlebotomy services, an educational nurse, and clinical support staff. The Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Hypertension Division is located one floor below the NIH-supported General Clinical Research Center, where some of the research for the Skeletal Health and Osteoporosis Center is performed.

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