Liu XS, Stein EM, Zhou B, Zhang CA, Nickolas TL, Cohen A, Thomas V, McMahon DJ, Cosman F, Nieves J, Shane E, Guo XE
Individual trabecula segmentation (ITS)-based morphological analyses and microfinite element analysis of HR-pQCT images discriminate postmenopausal fragility fractures independent of DXA measurements.
Journal of bone and mineral research : the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. 2012 Feb 01; 27: 263-72.
Osteoporosis is typically diagnosed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) measurements of areal bone mineral density (aBMD). Emerging technologies, such as high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT), may increase the diagnostic accuracy of DXA and enhance our mechanistic understanding of decreased bone strength in osteoporosis. Women with (n = 68) and without (n = 101) a history of postmenopausal fragility fracture had aBMD measured by DXA, trabecular plate and rod microarchitecture measured by HR-pQCT image-based individual trabecula segmentation (ITS) analysis, and whole bone and trabecular bone stiffness by microfinite element analysis (ÂµFEA) of HR-pQCT images at the radius and tibia. DXA T-scores were similar in women with and without fractures at the spine, hip, and 1/3 radius, but lower in fracture subjects at the ultradistal radius. Trabecular microarchitecture of fracture subjects was characterized by preferential reductions in trabecular plate bone volume, number, and connectivity over rod trabecular parameters, loss of axially aligned trabeculae, and a more rod-like trabecular network. In addition, decreased thickness and size of trabecular plates were observed at the tibia. The differences between groups were greater at the radius than the tibia for plate number, rod bone volume fraction and number, and plate-rod and rod-rod junction densities. Most differences between groups remained after adjustment for T-score by DXA. At a fixed bone volume fraction, trabecular plate volume, number, and connectivity were directly associated with bone stiffness. In contrast, rod volume, number, and connectivity were inversely associated with bone stiffness. In summary, HR-pQCT-based ITS and ÂµFEA measurements discriminate fracture status in postmenopausal women independent of DXA measurements. Moreover, these results suggest that preferential loss of plate-like trabeculae contribute to lower trabecular bone and whole bone stiffness in women with fractures. We conclude that HR-pQCT-based ITS and ÂµFEA measurements increase our understanding of the microstructural pathogenesis of fragility fracture in postmenopausal women.