Bone Density and Trabecular Morphology at Least 10 Years After Gastric Bypass and Gastric Banding


Katherine G Lindeman, Claire C Rushin, Michael C Cheney, Mary L Bouxsein, Matthew M Hutter, and Elaine W Yu. 2020. “Bone Density and Trabecular Morphology at Least 10 Years After Gastric Bypass and Gastric Banding.” J Bone Miner Res. Copy at


Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) instigates high-turnover bone loss in the initial 5 years after surgery, whereas skeletal changes after adjustable gastric banding (AGB) are less pronounced. Long-term skeletal data are scarce, and the mechanisms of bone loss remain unclear. We sought to examine bone density and microarchitecture in RYGB and AGB patients a decade after surgery and to determine whether prior published reports of bone loss represent an appropriate adaptation to new postsurgical weight. In this cross-sectional study, 25 RYGB and 25 AGB subjects who had bariatric surgery ≥10 years ago were matched 1:1 with nonsurgical controls for age, sex, and current body mass index (BMI). We obtained bone mineral density (BMD) by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), volumetric BMD and microarchitecture by high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT), trabecular morphology by individual trabecular segmentation, and metabolic bone laboratory results. As compared with BMI-matched controls, RYGB subjects had significantly lower hip BMD, and lower total volumetric BMD at the distal radius and tibia. Substantial deficits in cortical and trabecular microarchitecture were observed in the RYGB group compared to controls, with reduced trabecular plate bone volume fraction and estimated failure load at both the radius and tibia, respectively. Bone turnover markers CTX and P1NP were 99% and 77% higher in the RYGB group than controls, respectively, with no differences in serum calcium, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, or parathyroid hormone. In contrast, the AGB group did not differ from their BMI-matched controls in any measured bone density, microarchitecture, or laboratory parameter. Thus, RYGB, but not AGB, is associated with lower than expected hip and peripheral BMD for the new weight setpoint, as well as deleterious changes in bone microarchitecture. These findings suggest that pathophysiologic processes other than mechanical unloading or secondary hyperparathyroidism contribute to bone loss after RYGB, and have important clinical implications for the long-term care of RYGB patients. © 2020 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.