1. A simple system is described for the quantitative histological assessment of three skeletal disorders. It is based on the preparation of undecalcified sections of iliac crest biopsies, photography of cancellous bone and scanning of standard prints by a sensing device attached to a digital computer.
2. Areas of uncalcified osteoid are quantified by visual inspection during photography and the skeletal lesions of hyperparathyroidism are assessed semi-quantitatively.
3. This system makes it possible to define osteoporosis and osteomalacia according to quantitative histological criteria and provides some assistance in the assessment of the severity of hyperparathyroidism.