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ISSN: 0034-6233
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vol. 56
Original paper

Vertebral fracture assessment, trabecular bone score and handgrip in a group of postmenopausal women with vertebral fractures – preliminary study

Jarosław Amarowicz
Edward Czerwiński
Anna Kumorek
Maja Warzecha
Małgorzata Berwecka
Didier Hans

Reumatologia 2018; 56, 2: 80-86
Online publish date: 2018/05/09
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The aim of our study was to determine a possible correlation between vertebral fractures (indicated by VFA – vertebral fracture assessment), TBS (trabecular bone score) and muscle strength (measured by means of handgrip strength test results) in a group of postmenopausal women.

Material and methods
The study was conducted between 2014 and 2015 in a group of patients of Krakow Medical Centre (KMC). Women who participated in the study were referred to KMC by an attending physician for suspected vertebral fracture. Apart from VFA, patients were additionally tested for bone density (including TBS), muscle strength (by means of a handgrip strength test) and height loss. Altogether 35 patients with an average age of 69.7 years (49–95, SD = 10.49) were included in the study.

In the group of 35 women, VFA analysis demonstrated vertebral fractures in 17 patients (40%). Vertebral height loss suggesting a fracture was revealed in 77 vertebrae. The mean result of the TBS was 1.195 (0.982–1.409, SD = 0.09), which suggests high risk of fracture. The majority of the subjects (65.7%) displayed major bone microarchitecture degradation (TBS < 1.23) and also the highest number of fractures (n = 62, 80.5% of all). There was no correlation between the spine bone mineral density (BMD) score and the TBS result, which confirms studies showing that subjects with the same bone density may have completely different TBS. Bone density (spine BMD) was similar (osteopenic) in groups with or without vertebral fracture (in VFA). We noted a significant correlation (r = 0.45, p < 0.05) between the number of fractured vertebrae and the handgrip score.

VFA should be a part of a standard diagnostic procedure for patients with osteoporotic fractures. When it comes to identifying patients at risk of fracturing vertebrae, muscle strength (handgrip) may have potential use in clinical practice. The predictive value of the TBS in reference to vertebral fractures should be evaluated in bigger randomized studies.


vertebral fracture, vertebral fracture assessment, trabecular bone score, handgrip

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