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Marrow adiposity and bone: Review of clinical implications.

Bone. 2018 Feb 22;: Authors: Paccou J, Penel G, Chauveau C, Cortet B, Hardouin P

There is growing interest in the relationship between bone marrow fat (BMF) and skeletal health. Progress in clinical studies of BMF and skeletal health has been greatly enhanced by recent technical advances in our ability to measure BMF non-invasively. Magnetic resonance imagery (MRI) with or without spectroscopy is currently the standard technique for evaluating BMF content and composition in humans. This review focuses on clinical studies of marrow fat and its relationship with bone. The amount of marrow fat is associated with bone mineral density (BMD). Several studies have reported a significant negative association between marrow fat content and BMD in both healthy and osteoporotic populations. There may also be a relationship between marrow fat and fracture (mostly vertebral fracture), but data are scarce and further studies are needed. Furthermore, a few studies suggest that a lower proportion of unsaturated lipids in vertebral BMF may be associated with reduced BMD and greater prevalence of fracture. Marrow fat might be influenced by metabolic diseases associated with bone loss and fractures, such as diabetes mellitus, obesity and anorexia nervosa. An intriguing aspect of bariatric (weight loss) surgery is that it induces bone loss and fractures, but with different impacts on marrow fat depending on diabetic status. In daily practice, the usefulness for clinicians of assessing marrow fat using MRI is still limited. However, the perspectives are exciting, particularly in terms of improving the diagnosis and management of osteoporosis. Further studies are needed to better understand the regulators involved in the marrow fat-bone relationship and the links between marrow fat, other fat depots and energy metabolism. PMID: 29477645 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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