Published on 31 May 2016
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Raman spectroscopy was applied to nail clippings from 633 postmenopausal British and Irish women, from six clinical sites, of whom 42% had experienced a fragility fracture. The objective was to build a prediction algorithm for fracture using data from four sites (known as the calibration set) and test its performance using data from the other two sites (known as the validation set). Results from the validation set showed that a novel algorithm, combining spectroscopy data with clinical data, provided area under the curve (AUC) of 74% compared to an AUC of 60% from a reduced QFracture score (a clinically accepted risk calculator) and 61% from the dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry T-score, which is in current use for the diagnosis of osteoporosis. Raman spectroscopy should be investigated further as a noninvasive tool for the early detection of enhanced risk of fragility fracture.
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