Dowthwaite, Jodi N.; Winzenrieth, R.; Binkley, N.; Krueger, D.; Scerpella, T. A.
SummaryTrabecular bone score, an index of lumbar spine trabecular texture, has not been explored fully in adolescent girls. Our cross-sectional analysis supported the hypothesis that “adult normal” trabecular bone score has been achieved by the end of the first year post-menarche, providing a potential screening tool, independent from bone density.IntroductionTrabecular bone score (TBS) evaluates lumbar spine (LS) trabecular texture from DXA images. Limited evidence suggests low TBS in pre-pubertal girls. TBS has not been assessed in the context of the key peri-menarcheal bone accrual phase. Thus, we evaluated (1) whether “normal” adult TBS (≥ 1.35) is reached in the first year post-menarche and (2) the role of maturational timing (menarcheal age) and status (gynecological age) in TBS variation.MethodsFor 44 healthy girls aged 11 to 13 years, whole body and LS DXA scans were obtained within 1 year post-menarche. As TBS is optimized for adults and can be affected by body thickness, custom software provided unadjusted “rawTBS” and adjusted for tissue thickness “corrTBS” (TBS iNsight, Medimaps, France). Correlations evaluated menarcheal age and gynecological age as factors in LS bone mineral content (BMC), areal bone mineral density (BMD), and TBS.ResultsLowest observed TBS exceeded 1.35 (rawTBS = 1.362, corrTBS = 1.352). Menarcheal age correlated negatively with rawTBS (r = − 0.34, p = 0.02), with a similar trend for corrTBS (r = − 0.29, p < 0.06). Gynecological age did not correlate with TBS but was positively correlated with LSBMD (r = + 0.37, p = 0.01). Correlations with body composition variables differed between rawTBS and corrTBS.ConclusionsIn this healthy cohort, “normal” adult TBS is present by 1 year post-menarche, 2 years before projected LS peak bone mass. Thus, TBS may be a useful bone architectural screen during the first post-menarcheal year, enabling intervention to improve structure prior to “peak bone mass”. Longitudinal studies are needed to elucidate TBS development and intervention response.