Summary: We evaluated the association between prevalent vertebral fractures and bone micro-architecture and strength measured using HR-pQCT in postmenopausal women with a recent non-vertebral fracture visiting the Fracture Liaison Service. The presence and severity of prevalent vertebral fracture reflect generalized bone deterioration. Introduction: We evaluated the association between prevalent vertebral fractures (VFs) and bone micro-architecture and strength measured using HR-pQCT in postmenopausal women visiting the Fracture Liaison Service. Methods: In this cross-sectional study in women aged 50–90 with a recent non-vertebral fracture (NVF), VFs were identified on lateral spine images by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Bone micro-architecture and strength were measured at the non-dominant distal radius and distal tibia using HR-pQCT. Linear regression analyses were used to estimate the association between prevalent VFs and HR-pQCT parameters. Results: We included 338 women of whom 74 (21.9%) women had at least one prevalent VF. After adjustment for femoral neck aBMD (FN aBMD) and other parameters, women with at least one prevalent vertebral fracture had significantly lower total and trabecular vBMD and trabecular number (β − 16.7, − 11.8, and − 7.8 in the radius and − 21.4, − 16.6, and − 7.2 in the tibia, respectively), higher trabecular separation at the radius and tibia (β 9.0 and 9.3, respectively), and lower cortical thickness and calculated ultimate failure load and compressive bone strength at the tibia (β − 5.9, − 0.6, and − 10.9, respectively) as compared with those without prevalent VFs. Furthermore, more severe prevalent VFs were associated with even lower total and trabecular vBMD and lower ultimate failure load and compressive stiffness at the radius and tibia, and lower trabecular number and higher trabecular separation at the radius. Conclusion: This study indicates that the presence and severity of prevalent VFs reflect generalized bone deterioration in women with a recent NVF, independently of FN aBMD.
- Fracture Liaison Service
- Vertebral fractures