The risk of experiencing an osteoporotic fracture is greater for adults with type 2 diabetes despite higher than normal bone mineral density (BMD). In addition to BMD, trabecular bone microarchitecture contributes to bone strength, but is not assessed using conventional BMD measurement by dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). The aim of this study was to compare two year changes in trabecular bone microarchitecture in women with and without type 2 diabetes.
We used a 1 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner to acquire axial images (resolution 195 μm × 195 μm × 1000 μm) of the distal radius. We report the change in the number and size of trabecular bone holes, bone volume fraction (BVTV), trabecular thickness (Tb.Th), number (Tb.N) and separation (Tb.Sp), endosteal area, nodal and branch density for each group. Lumbar spine and proximal femur BMD were measured with DXA (Hologic, Discovery QDR4500A) at baseline and follow-up. Using a multivariable linear regression model, we evaluated whether the percent change in the trabecular bone microarchitecture variables differed between women with and without type 2 diabetes.
Of the 54 participants at baseline with valid MRI image sets, 37 participants (baseline mean [SD] age, 70.8 [4.4] years) returned for follow-up assessment after 25.4 [1.9] months. Lumbar spine BMD was greater for women with diabetes compared to without diabetes at both baseline and follow-up. After adjustment for ethnicity, women with diabetes had a higher percent increase in number of trabecular bone holes compared to controls (10 % versus −7 %, p=0.010), however results were no longer significant after adjustment for multiple comparisons (p=0.090). There were no differences in the change in other trabecular bone microarchitecture variables between groups.
There were no differences in percent change in trabecular bone microarchitecture variables over two years in women with type 2 diabetes compared to women without diabetes. This study provides feasibility data, which will inform future trials assessing change in trabecular bone microarchitecture in women with type 2 diabetes. Larger studies using higher resolution imaging modalities that can assess change in trabecular and cortical bone compartments in women with type 2 diabetes are needed.