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Keywords:

  • OSTEOPOROSIS;
  • TRABECULAR MICROARCHITECTURE;
  • MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING;
  • FRACTURE;
  • POSTMENOPAUSAL WOMEN

Abstract

This study compared microscopic magnetic resonance imaging (µMRI) parameters of trabecular microarchitecture between postmenopausal women with and without fracture who have normal or osteopenic bone mineral density (BMD) on dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). It included 36 postmenopausal white women 50 years of age and older with normal or osteopenic BMD (T-scores better than −2.5 at the lumbar spine, proximal femur, and one-third radius on DXA). Eighteen women had a history of low-energy fracture, whereas 18 women had no history of fracture and served as an age, race, and ultradistal radius BMD-matched control group. A three-dimensional fast large-angle spin-echo (FLASE) sequence with 137 µm × 137 µm × 400 µm resolution was performed through the nondominant wrist of all 36 women using the same 1.5T scanner. The high-resolution images were used to measure trabecular bone volume fraction, trabecular thickness, surface-to-curve ratio, and erosion index. Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were used to compare differences in BMD and µMRI parameters between postmenopausal women with and without fracture. Post-menopausal women with fracture had significantly lower (p < 0.05) trabecular bone volume fraction and surface-to-curve ratio and significantly higher (p < 0.05) erosion index than postmenopausal women without fracture. There was no significant difference between postmenopausal women with and without fracture in trabecular thickness (p = 0.80) and BMD of the spine (p = 0.21), proximal femur (p = 0.19), one-third radius (p = 0.47), and ultradistal radius (p = 0.90). Postmenopausal women with normal or osteopenic BMD who had a history of low-energy fracture had significantly different (p < 0.05) µMRI parameters than an age, race, and ultradistal radius BMD-matched control group of postmenopausal women with no history of fracture. Our study suggests that µMRI can be used to identify individuals without a DXA-based diagnosis of osteoporosis who have impaired trabecular microarchitecture and thus a heretofore-unappreciated elevated fracture risk. © 2012 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.