Luckman, Matthew; Hans, Didier; Cortez, Natalia; Nishiyama, Kyle K.; Agarawal, Sanchita; Zhang, Chengchen; Nikkel, Lucas; Iyer, Sapna; Fusaro, Maria; Guo, Edward X.; McMahon, Donald J.; Shane, Elizabeth; Nickolas, Thomas L.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Studies using high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography showed progressive abnormalities in cortical and trabecular microarchitecture and biomechanical competence over the first year after kidney transplantation. However, high-resolution peripheral computed tomography is a research tool lacking wide availability. In contrast, the trabecular bone score is a novel and widely available tool that uses gray-scale variograms of the spine image from dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry to assess trabecular quality. There are no studies assessing whether trabecular bone score characterizes bone quality in kidney transplant recipients. DESIGN, SETTINGS, PARTICIPANTS, & MEASUREMENTS: Between 2009 and 2010, we conducted a study to assess changes in peripheral skeletal microarchitecture, measured by high-resolution peripheral computed tomography, during the first year after transplantation in 47 patients managed with early corticosteroid-withdrawal immunosuppression. All adult first-time transplant candidates were eligible. Patients underwent imaging with high-resolution peripheral computed tomography and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry pretransplantation and 3, 6, and 12 months post-transplantation. We now test if, during the first year after transplantation, trabecular bone score assesses the evolution of bone microarchitecture and biomechanical competence as determined by high-resolution peripheral computed tomography. RESULTS: At baseline and follow-up, among the 72% and 78%, respectively, of patients having normal bone mineral density by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, 53% and 50%, respectively, were classified by trabecular bone score as having high fracture risk. At baseline, trabecular bone score correlated with spine, hip, and ultradistal radius bone mineral density by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and cortical area, density, thickness, and porosity, trabecular density, thickness, separation, and heterogeneity, and stiffness and failure load by high-resolution peripheral computed tomography. Longitudinally, each percentage increase in trabecular bone score was associated with increases in trabecular number (0.35%±1.4%), decreases in trabecular thickness (-0.45%±0.15%), separation (-0.40%±0.15%), and network heterogeneity (-0.48%±0.20%), and increases in failure load (0.22%±0.09%) by high-resolution peripheral computed tomography (all P<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Trabecular bone score may be a useful method to assess and monitor bone quality and strength and classify fracture risk in kidney transplant recipients.