Clinical observation of diminished bone quality and quantity through longitudinal HR-pQCT-derived remodeling and mechanoregulation


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Nature Portfolio


High resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT) provides methods for quantifying volumetric bone mineral density and microarchitecture necessary for early diagnosis of bone disease. When combined with a longitudinal imaging protocol and finite element analysis, HR-pQCT can be used to assess bone formation and resorption (i.e., remodeling) and the relationship between this remodeling and mechanical loading (i.e., mechanoregulation) at the tissue level. Herein, 25 patients with a contralateral distal radius fracture were imaged with HR-pQCT at baseline and 9-12 months follow-up: 16 patients were prescribed vitamin D3 with/without calcium supplement based on a blood biomarker measures of bone metabolism and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry image-based measures of normative bone quantity which indicated diminishing (n = 9) or poor (n = 7) bone quantity and 9 were not. To evaluate the sensitivity of this imaging protocol to microstructural changes, HR-pQCT images were registered for quantification of bone remodeling and image-based micro-finite element analysis was then used to predict local bone strains and derive rules for mechanoregulation. Remodeling volume fractions were predicted by both average values of trabecular and cortical thickness and bone mineral density (R-2 > 0.8), whereas mechanoregulation was affected by dominance of the arm and group classification (p < 0.05). Overall, longitudinal, extended HR-pQCT analysis enabled the identification of changes in bone quantity and quality too subtle for traditional measures.



Distal radius, computed-tomography, postmenopausal women, mineral density, fracture risk, hip fracture, elderly-men, strength, tibia, microarchitecture