March 30, 2020 Statement
March 30, 2020
To the ISCD Community:
We recognize the magnitude and health care disruption of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and want to provide interim guidance on bone densitometry testing during a worldwide crisis and USA National Emergency.
During the USA emergency, we do not consider any form of DXA (including VFA and FFI) as essential to the health of the individual. This would apply to other regions as well.
We also recognize that your jurisdictions’ advice may not align with and in fact may supersede this ISCD guidance.
This advice was formulated with the input and review of the ISCD Executive Committee:
Delaying or deferring DXA for diagnosis or monitoring is appropriate for 3-6 months because:
- For most patients there will be little clinically meaningful change in BMD over the period.
- For those on treatment with established acceptable response, there is a very low likelihood that the response will change.
- For those transitioning from anabolic therapy to anti-resorptive therapy, it is far more important to consolidate gains achieved by switching without DXA results first.
- For those newly on therapy set up for first monitoring DXA, there will also be little meaningful change over the interval.
- DXA services are increasingly performed in facilities, and many of those facilities already are or will be shifted to emergency and/or crisis management, where “elective” radiology will be severely limited if not curtailed. Over this anticipated short duration of 3-6 months, restricting this service does not pose a substantial threat to patients needing BMD testing.
We want to be a small part of the solution to the present worldwide pandemic and offer reassurance for patients and providers faced with many difficult decisions.
Please stay well, follow recommendations to stay safe and keep others safe. We will get through this together.
Christopher R. Shuhart MD, MHA, CCD
ISCD President 2019-2020
For the ISCD Executive Committee