Background Patients affected by Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) show an increased risk of low bone mass, as a result of multi-systemic disorders including toxic drug, low vitamin D levels and physical inactivity. Trabecular Bone Score (TBS), is an index extracted from the dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) images, that provides an indirect measurement (Score) of bone axial microarchitecture and allows to get information about bone quality (1,2).
Objectives The aim of this investigation was to evaluate bone quality in RA patients (high risk population) receiving vitamin D supplementation from at least 3 month, using the TBS.
Methods 108 female patients (mean age 61±8 years) affected by RA and 60 age- matched controls (CNT) (mean age 64±11 years) were enrolled. Bone Mineral Density (BMD, g/cm2) of the lumbar spine (L1-L4) was analyzed using a DXA scan (GE,Lunar Prodigy). Lumbar spine TBS (TBS iNsight Medimaps) was derived for each spine DXA examination. All patients were evaluated for serum 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations.
Results 78 RA patients (80%) presented a bone loss that was significantly lower when compared with control group (p<0.001). Likewise, lumbar spine TBS score was found significantly lower in RA patients compared with CNT (p<0.001). Finally, RA patients showed lower 25(OH)D concentrations (18.4±1.3 ng/ml) than CNT (26.2±0.9 ng/ml; p<0.04).
Conclusions This study shows in RA patients a reduction of TBS values that seem placed side by side with reduced BMD values and 25(OH)D serum concentrations. Therefore, TBS could become a new and safe diagnostic tool for the quantification of the bone quality and related osteoporosis, in chronic systemic inflammatory rheumatic diseases, such as RA.
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Avouac J, et al. Arthritis Care Res 2012;64:1871–8.
Disclosure of Interest None declared