Valls-Pascual E, Orenes-Vera AV, Sendra-García A, Martínez-Ferrer À, Montolío-Chiva L, Vázquez-Gómez I, Flores-Fernández E, Ybáñez-García D, Vega-Martínez M, García-Ferrer L, Graells-Ferrer M, Alegre-Sancho JJ.
Background: In patients with axial spondyloarthritis, vertebral fracture risk is elevated and not always correlated with bone mineral density (BMD). Trabecular bone score (TBS) may offer some advantages in the assessment of vertebral fracture risk in these patients. The primary objective of this study was to compare TBS and BMD between axial spondyloarthritis patients depending on their vertebral fracture status. Secondary objectives were to estimate the prevalence of morphometric vertebral fractures, and to explore factors associated with fracture, as well as the interference of syndesmophytes on BMD and TBS.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted. Data were collected on demographic and clinical characteristics, lab results, imaging findings and treatment. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS v.13 statistical software.
Results: Eighty-four patients (60 men and 24 women; mean age of 59 years) were included. Nearly half (47.6%) of them had lumbar syndesmophytes. The rate of morphometric fracture was 11.9%. TBS showed a higher area under the curve (0.89) than total hip, femoral neck and lumbar BMD (0.80, 0.78, and 0.70 respectively) for classifying patients regarding their fracture status. Nonetheless, the differences did not reach statistical significance. Syndesmophytes affected lumbar spine BMD (p < 0.001), but not hip BMD or TBS. Fractures were associated with TBS, total hip BMD, erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein levels. Conclusions: We identified decreased TBS and total hip BMD, as well as increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein levels as factors associated with morphometric vertebral fractures. Unlike lumbar spine BMD, TBS is not affected by the presence of syndesmophytes.