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The trabecular bone score (TBS, Med-Imaps, Pessac, France) is an index of bone microarchitecture texture extracted from anteroposterior dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry images of the spine. Previous studies have documented the ability of TBS of the spine to differentiate between women with and without fractures among age- and areal bone mineral density (aBMD)-matched controls, as well as to predict future fractures. In this cross-sectional analysis of data collected from 3 geographically dispersed facilities in the United States, we investigated age-related changes in the microarchitecture of lumbar vertebrae as assessed by TBS in a cohort of non-Hispanic US white American women. All subjects were 30 yr of age and older and had an L1–L4aBMDZ-score within ±2 SD of the population mean. Individuals were excluded if they had fractures, were on any osteoporosis treatment, or had any illness that would be expected to impact bone metabolism. All data were extracted from Prodigy dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry devices (GE-Lunar, Madison, WI). Cross-calibrations between the 3 participating centers were performed for TBS and aBMD. aBMD and TBS were evaluated for spine L1–L4 but also for all other possible vertebral combinations. To validate the cohort, a comparison between the aBMD normative data of our cohort and US non-Hispanic white Lunar data provided by the manufacturer was performed. A database of 619 non-Hispanic US white women, ages 30–90 yr, was created. aBMD normative data obtained from this cohort were not statistically different from the non-Hispanic US white Lunar normative data provided by the manufacturer (p = 0.30). This outcome thereby indirectly validates our cohort. TBS values at L1–L4 were weakly inversely correlated with body mass index (r = −0.17) and weight (r = −0.16) and not correlated with height. TBS values for all lumbar vertebral combinations decreased significantly with age. There was a linear decrease of 16.0% (−2.47 T-score) in TBS at L1–L4 between 45 and 90 yr of age (vs. −2.34 for aBMD). Microarchitectural loss rate increased after age 65 by 50% (−0.004 to −0.006). Similar results were obtained for other combinations of lumbar vertebra. TBS, an index of bone microarchitectural texture, decreases with advancing age in non-Hispanic US white women. Little change in TBS is observed between ages 30 and 45. Thereafter, a progressive decrease is observed with advancing age. The changes we observed in these American women are similar to that previously reported for a French population of white women (r2 > 0.99). This reference database will facilitate the use of TBS to assess bone microarchitectural deterioration in clinical practice.


Institute for Health and Ageing

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Journal Article

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