Background Osteophytes and lumbar spine fractures can hinder bone density interpretation.
Objectives The objective of this study was to establish the relationship between densitometric measurements and degenerative radiological findings of the lumbar spine, in women with osteoporosis.
Methods The study consisted of ninety-six postmenopausal women presenting osteoporosis in their lumbar spine bone density, DEXA, LUNAR-DPX. Fractures, osteophytes and aortic calcifications were evaluated by simple x-rays of thoracic and lumbar spine.
Results The X-rays confirmed lumbar fractures in 24.7%, osteophytes in 33.3% and calcifications of the aorta in 30.2%. The mean BMD was 0.783 g/cm2 and the mean T-score was ?3.47 DP. Neither fractures, nor aortic calcifications had significant influence on BMD (p = 0,36 e p = 0,09 respectively) despite the fractured vertebrae having greater BMD (p < 0,02). Patients with lumbar spine osteophytes showed greater BMD (p = 0,04). Only osteophytosis was associated to lumbar spine BMD (p = 0,008).
Conclusion Osteophytes and lumbar spine fractures can hinder bone density interpretation. Based on these findings, the interpretation of densitometric results should be carried out together with that of a simple lumbar spine X-ray.
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