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Osteoporos Int. 2018 Oct 10. doi: 10.1007/s00198-018-4716-1. [Epub ahead of print]

Prediction of incident vertebral fracture using CT-based finite element analysis.

Author information

1
Center for Advanced Orthopaedic Studies, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 330 Brookline Avenue, RN 115, Boston, MA, 02215, USA.
2
Boston University, Boston, MA, USA.
3
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
4
O.N. Diagnostics LLC, Berkeley, CA, USA.
5
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA.
6
Department of Bioengineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA.
7
Department of Radiology, Mercy Catholic Medical Center, Darby, PA, USA.
8
Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA.
9
Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.
10
Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife, Boston, MA, USA.
11
Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
12
Center for Advanced Orthopaedic Studies, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 330 Brookline Avenue, RN 115, Boston, MA, 02215, USA. mbouxsei@bidmc.harvard.edu.
13
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA. mbouxsei@bidmc.harvard.edu.

Abstract

Prior studies show vertebral strength from computed tomography-based finite element analysis may be associated with vertebral fracture risk. We found vertebral strength had a strong association with new vertebral fractures, suggesting that vertebral strength measures identify those at risk for vertebral fracture and may be a useful clinical tool.

INTRODUCTION:

We aimed to determine the association between vertebral strength by quantitative computed tomography (CT)-based finite element analysis (FEA) and incident vertebral fracture (VF). In addition, we examined sensitivity and specificity of previously proposed diagnostic thresholds for fragile bone strength and low BMD in predicting VF.

METHODS:

In a case-control study, 26 incident VF cases (13 men, 13 women) and 62 age- and sex-matched controls aged 50 to 85 years were selected from the Framingham multi-detector computed tomography cohort. Vertebral compressive strength, integral vBMD, trabecular vBMD, CT-based BMC, and CT-based aBMD were measured from CT scans of the lumbar spine.

RESULTS:

Lower vertebral strength at baseline was associated with an increased risk of new or worsening VF after adjusting for age, BMI, and prevalent VF status (odds ratio (OR) = 5.2 per 1 SD decrease, 95% CI 1.3-19.8). Area under receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve comparisons revealed that vertebral strength better predicted incident VF than CT-based aBMD (AUC = 0.804 vs. 0.715, p = 0.05) but was not better than integral vBMD (AUC = 0.815) or CT-based BMC (AUC = 0.794). Additionally, proposed fragile bone strength thresholds trended toward better sensitivity for identifying VF than that of aBMD-classified osteoporosis (0.46 vs. 0.23, p = 0.09).

CONCLUSION:

This study shows an association between vertebral strength measures and incident vertebral fracture in men and women. Though limited by a small sample size, our findings also suggest that bone strength estimates by CT-based FEA provide equivalent or better ability to predict incident vertebral fracture compared to CT-based aBMD. Our study confirms that CT-based estimates of vertebral strength from FEA are useful for identifying patients who are at high risk for vertebral fracture.

KEYWORDS:

Bone strength; Finite element analysis; Fracture prediction; Incident vertebral fracture

PMID:
30306225
DOI:
10.1007/s00198-018-4716-1

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