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Do patients that fracture with normal DXA-measured BMD have normal bone?

Arch Osteoporos. 2020 May 11;15(1):70 Authors: Bandaru S, Hare K, Krueger D, Binkley N

Patients that sustain "osteoporosis-related" fractures may have normal BMD at the hips and spine, but rarely have normal bone when other clinically available studies are considered. Such data often exist and can inform clinical decisions regarding osteoporosis therapy. PURPOSE: Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) measured bone mineral density (BMD) at the hip and spine is widely used to diagnose osteoporosis. However, patients that sustain "osteoporosis-related" fractures often have normal BMD at these sites. The aim of this study was to explore whether older adults with fracture, but normal reported hip and spine BMD, also have normal bone using additional clinically available assessments. METHODS: This retrospective electronic medical record study included 387 patients evaluated by a university-based fracture liaison service with spine and hip DXA; 32 (8.3%) had normal spine/hip BMD reported. In this cohort, clinically available bone data including 0.3 and ultradistal radius T-scores, trochanteric T-scores, lumbar spine trabecular bone score (TBS), L1 opportunistic CT Hounsfield units (HU), and femoral cortical index (FCI) were assessed. RESULTS: One or more of the above noted studies were available in 30/32 patients. UD and 0.3 radius results were available in 21 patients, and 18 (85.7%) had T-scores < - 1.0. Trochanteric values were available in 16; T-scores were < - 1.0 in 18.8%. TBS data were available in 24; partially degraded or degraded values were present in 41.7%. L1 opportunistic CT was available in 25 patients, 80% were below normal, and < 150 HU. Finally, femoral cortical index (FCI) was measurable in 9 subjects; 66.7% were below < 0.4. When including all additional available data in the skeletal assessment, only 5/387 (1.3%) were identified with normal bone. CONCLUSION: Patients with normal spine/hip BMD who sustain fracture rarely have normal bone when all available data are considered. PMID: 32394003 [PubMed - in process]

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