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PO Box: 11-0236
Riad El Solh, Beirut 1107 2020
Beirut - Lebanon (More)

Calcium Metabolism and Osteoporosis Program-Bone Density Unit

About Us
Founded in December 1997, the Calcium Metabolism and Osteoporosis Program is the first of its kind nationally and regionally as a center of expertise for metabolic bone disorders. Its mission is to promote excellence in clinical care, research and education in disorders of calcium and bone metabolism. The program received the official designation by the World Health Organization as a “WHO Collaborating Center (WHO-CC) for Osteoporosis and Metabolic Bone Disorders” in 2010.

Our Services
The Clinical Care arm and Specialty Clinics of the Program are a major referral center nationally and regionally for adults and pediatric patients with metabolic bone disorders. Metabolic bone pathologies treated at our specialty clinics include:

  • Postmenopausal Osteoporosis
  • Glucocorticoid-Induced Osteoporosis
  • Osteoporosis in Men
  • Idiopathic Osteoporosis
  • Pediatric Juvenile Osteoporosis
  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta
  • Osteoporosis in Chronic Kidney Failure
  • Cancer Treatment-Induced Bone Loss
  • Paget ’s disease of the Bone
  • Fibrous Dysplasia
  • Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Hyperparathyroidism
  • Hypoparathyroidism

The Bone Densitometry Unit is equipped with a state of the art Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) machine with the latest software technology to measure the mineral density of bones (spine, hip, and forearm) and perform total body composition analysis and Instant Vertebral Assessment (IVA). Advanced applications include trabecular bone score measurement, hip structural analysis, and visceral fat assessment. A bone density scan can help provide important information for the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of osteoporosis and other metabolic bone disorders.

The unit is staffed with technologists certified by the International Society of Clinical Densitometry (ISCD). Reports are interpreted by specialized physicians licensed by the ISCD as well. ISCD‘s Mission Statement: To Advance Excellence in the Assessment of Skeletal Health. www.iscd.org

Appointments are available Monday through Friday.

Hours: 8.00 AM – 5.00 PM

Tel:  +961-1-374374 ext.: 5362

Direct line: +961-1-737868

Email: bmd@aub.edu.lb

Location: AUBMC, Phase I, 5th floor, room C-545

Faculty & Staff

​Name ​Title Ext.​ Email Address​
Ghada El-Hajj Fuleihan MD, MPH​ ​Professor, Calcium Metabolism and Osteoporosis Program Director ​5362 gf01@aub.edu.lb
​Asma Arabi, MD, MSc ​Associate Professor ​5461 aa22@aub.edu.lb
Marlene Chakhtoura, MD, MSc ​
​Instructor  ​7411 ​mc39@aub.edu.lb​
Nariman Chamoun​ Administrator  5148 nc27@aub.edu.lb
S​amia Mroueh Technician ​5388 sm62@aub.edu.lb
Jinane Kronfol​ ​Unit Assistant/Technician ​5362 ​ jk28@aub.edu.lb
A​li Hammoudi​ ​Webmaster ​5372 ​ah80@aub.edu.lb

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should get a bone density test?
Universal recommendations endorsed by most organizations and societies include:

  • Age > 65 years
  • History of fragility fracture
  • Radiologic evidence of demineralization
  • Chronic cortisone therapy >3-6 month
  • Family history of hip fractures
  • Medical conditions and intake of medications known to cause bone loss

How should I prepare for a DEXA scan?

  • Eat normally on the day of the test.
  • Avoid taking Calcium supplements for 24 hours prior to the exam.
  • Wear comfortable clothing without buttons and zippers if possible. You may be asked to wear a gown before the scan.
  • Inform the technologist if there is a chance you may be pregnant.
  • Inform the technologist if you have had any of the following tests in the last 7 days: bone scan, angiogram, CAT scan with contrast, myelogram, nuclear cardiology testing, received Barium or any other contrast media or radioisotope during a CT or other scan.

How is the exam performed?
The DEXA test is painless. You lie on your back while the machine moves slowly to scan the site(s) of interest. If the bone density measurement is for your forearm, you sit in a chair while the machine scans your forearm. Your visit takes about 15-20 minutes.

When can I pass to pick my report and scans?
You may pick your results after two working days from undergoing the DEXA scan.

Patient Guide

What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a silent disease until a fracture occurs. Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by a reduced density and quality of bone occurring silently and progressively. Consequently, as bones become more porous, the susceptibility to fractures increases significantly. Usually, osteoporotic patients do not complain of symptoms until first fragility fracture occurs (classical sites are: the spine, the wrist and the hip).

How common is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a very common disease.
It is estimated that an osteoporotic fracture occurs every 3 seconds worldwide. One in three women and one in five men will have a fracture after age 50 yrs. For women this risk is higher than the risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancer combined. For men, the risk is higher than that for prostate cancer.

Who is at risk?
Populations at higher risk include: women, men and women over 65-years-old, individuals with history of fragility fractures, history of smoking, alcohol abuse, cortisone therapy, individuals with parental history of hip fracture, and individuals with certain medical conditions or taking certain medications  known to cause accelerated bone loss (e.g. Glucocorticoids, cancer treatments, anti-depressants, anti-epileptic drugs, etc).

Osteoporosis prevention is a continuous process that should start early in childhood. Although some risk factors, such as aging and gender, cannot be controlled; others are linked to lifestyle modifiable determinants. These include poor nutrition, insufficient physical activity, smoking, excessive alcohol drinking, intake of carbonated beverages, high salt diets, excess caffeine intake, all of which can negatively affect bone density and possibly increase fracture risk.

Diagnosis and Treatment
DEXA, described earlier, is the most common technique for assessing the risk of osteoporosis. Several effective treatments are commonly used to treat osteoporosis, yet this has to be indicated based on individualized clinical assessment and must be associated with relevant lifestyle changes as recommended by the patient’s physician.

Additional Resources

Useful calculators and links    

The Program was awarded the Outstanding Clinical Program Departmental Award on June 12, 2004. The selection was driven by the very high productivity of the program in research, attracting a high level of funding and its success in achieving visibility not only nationally and regionally, but also internationally.

The Program’s publications over the last few years have achieved some of highest cumulative impact factor and citation index institutionally. Manuscripts describing various studies/reviews from the Program are published in the New England Journal of Medicine, The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Bone, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, amongst others.



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