Bioletto F, Barale M, Prencipe N, Berton AM, Parasiliti-Caprino M, Gasco V, Ghigo E, Procopio M, Grottoli S.
Background: Acromegaly is characterized by impaired bone quality and increased fracture risk. However, due to the pathophysiology of acromegalic osteopathy, bone mineral density (BMD) does not represent a reliable predictor for fragility fractures in this setting. Trabecular bone score (TBS) has been recently evaluated as an alternative index of skeletal fragility in acromegalic patients. However, no conclusive data are still available in this regard.
Methods: PubMed/Medline, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Ovid, and CINAHL databases were systematically searched until June 2022 for studies reporting data either about the comparison of TBS values between acromegalic patients and non-acromegalic controls or about the relationship - within acromegalic patients - between TBS values and fracture risk. Effect sizes were pooled through a random-effect model.
Results: Eight studies were eligible for inclusion in the meta-analysis, encompassing 336 acromegalic patients and 490 non-acromegalic controls. Overall, TBS was significantly lower in acromegalic patients compared to controls (-0.089, 95% CI: [-0.111, -0.067], p < 0.01), irrespective of acromegaly disease activity and gonadal status. With respect to fracture risk, TBS was significantly lower in acromegalic patients with vertebral fractures than in those without (-0.099, 95% CI: [-0.166, -0.032], p < 0.01). Conclusion: In this meta-analysis, we specifically assessed the role of TBS as an index of bone quality and fracture risk in patients with acromegaly. Our results support the notion that TBS could be of value in the assessment and management of skeletal fragility in acromegalic patients, especially in light of the poor information provided in this setting by BMD.