Métrailler A, Hans D, Lamy O, Gonzalez Rodriguez E, Shevroja E.
This study aimed to better define the role of heel-QUS in fracture prediction. Our results showed that heel-QUS predicts fracture independently of FRAX, BMD, and TBS. This corroborates its use as a case finding/pre-screening tool in osteoporosis management.
Introduction: Quantitative ultrasound (QUS) characterizes bone tissue based on the speed of sound (SOS) and broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA). Heel-QUS predicts osteoporotic fractures independently of clinical risk factors (CRFs) and bone mineral density (BMD). We aimed to investigate whether (1) heel-QUS parameters predict major osteoporotic fractures (MOF) independently of the trabecular bone score (TBS) and (2) the change of heel-QUS parameters over 2.5 years is associated with fracture risk.
Methods: One thousand three hundred forty-five postmenopausal women from the OsteoLaus cohort were followed up for 7 years. Heel-QUS (SOS, BUA, and stiffness index (SI)), DXA (BMD and TBS), and MOF were assessed every 2.5 years. Pearson's correlation and multivariable regression analyses were used to determine associations between QUS and DXA parameters and fracture incidence.
Results: During a mean follow-up of 6.7 years, 200 MOF were recorded. Fractured women were older, more treated with anti-osteoporosis medication; had lower QUS, BMD, and TBS; higher FRAX-CRF risk; and more prevalent fractures. TBS was significantly correlated with SOS (0.409) and SI (0.472). A decrease of one SD in SI, BUA or SOS increased the MOF risk by (OR(95%CI)) 1.43 (1.18-1.75), 1.19 (0.99-1.43), and 1.52 (1.26-1.84), respectively, after adjustment for FRAX-CRF, treatment, BMD, and TBS. We found no association between the change of QUS parameters in 2.5 years and incident MOF.
Conclusion: Heel-QUS predicts fracture independently of FRAX, BMD, and TBS. Thus, QUS represents an important case finding/pre-screening tool in osteoporosis management. The change in QUS over time was not associated with future fractures, making it inappropriate for patient monitoring.