CONTEXT: Bariatric surgery is increasingly popular but may lead to metabolic bone disease.
OBJECTIVE: The objective was to determine the rate of bone loss in the 24 months after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.
DESIGN AND SETTING: This was a prospective cohort study conducted at an academic medical center.
PARTICIPANTS: The participants were adults with severe obesity, including 30 adults undergoing gastric bypass and 20 nonsurgical controls.
OUTCOMES: We measured bone mineral density (BMD) at the lumbar spine and proximal femur by quantitative computed tomography (QCT) and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry at 0, 12, and 24 months. BMD and bone microarchitecture were also assessed by high-resolution peripheral QCT, and estimated bone strength was calculated using microfinite element analysis.
RESULTS: Weight loss plateaued 6 months after gastric bypass but remained greater than controls at 24 months (-37 ± 3 vs -5 ± 3 kg [ mean ± SEM]; P < .001). At 24 months, BMD was 5-7% lower at the spine and 6-10% lower at the hip in subjects who underwent gastric bypass compared with nonsurgical controls, as assessed by QCT and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (P < .001 for all). Despite significant bone loss, average T-scores remained in the normal range 24 months after gastric bypass. Cortical and trabecular BMD and microarchitecture at the distal radius and tibia deteriorated in the gastric bypass group throughout the 24 months, such that estimated bone strength was 9% lower than controls. The decline in BMD persisted beyond the first year, with rates of bone loss exceeding controls throughout the second year at all skeletal sites. Mean serum calcium, 25(OH)-vitamin D, and PTH were maintained within the normal range in both groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Substantial bone loss occurs throughout the 24 months after gastric bypass despite weight stability in the second year. Although the benefits of gastric bypass surgery are well established, the potential for adverse effects on skeletal integrity remains an important concern.
Several studies, using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), have reported substantial bone loss after bariatric surgery. However, profound weight loss may cause artifactual changes in DXA areal bone mineral density (aBMD) results. Assessment of volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD) by quantitative computed tomography (QCT) may be less susceptible to such artifacts. We assessed changes in BMD of the lumbar spine and proximal femur prospectively for 1 year using DXA and QCT in 30 morbidly obese adults undergoing Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery and 20 obese nonsurgical controls. At 1 year, subjects who underwent gastric bypass surgery lost 37 ± 2 kg compared with 3 ± 2 kg lost in the nonsurgical controls (p < 0.0001). Spine BMD declined more in the surgical group than in the nonsurgical group whether assessed by DXA (-3.3 versus -1.1%, p = 0.034) or by QCT (-3.4 versus 0.2%, p = 0.010). Total hip and femoral neck aBMD declined significantly in the surgical group when assessed by DXA (-8.9 versus -1.1%, p < 0.0001 for the total hip and -6.1 versus -2.0%, p = 0.002 for the femoral neck), but no changes in hip vBMD were noted using QCT. Within the surgical group, serum P1NP and CTX levels increased by 82% ± 10% and by 220% ± 22%, respectively, by 6 months and remained elevated over 12 months (p < 0.0001 for all). Serum calcium, vitamin D, and PTH levels remained stable in both groups. We conclude that moderate vertebral bone loss occurs in the first year after gastric bypass surgery. However, striking declines in DXA aBMD at the proximal femur were not confirmed with QCT vBMD measurements. These discordant results suggest that artifacts induced by large changes in body weight after bariatric surgery affect DXA and/or QCT measurements of bone, particularly at the hip.
Bariatric surgery is a popular and effective treatment for severe obesity but may have negative effects on the skeleton. This review summarizes changes in bone density and bone metabolism from animal and clinical studies of bariatric surgery, with specific attention to Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), adjustable gastric banding (AGB), and sleeve gastrectomy (SG). Skeletal imaging artifacts from obesity and weight loss are also considered. Despite challenges in bone density imaging, the preponderance of evidence suggests that bariatric surgery procedures have negative skeletal effects that persist beyond the first year of surgery, and that these effects vary by surgical type. The long-term clinical implications and current clinical recommendations are presented. Further study is required to determine mechanisms of bone loss after bariatric surgery. Although early studies focused on calcium/vitamin D metabolism and mechanical unloading of the skeleton, it seems likely that surgically induced changes in the hormonal and metabolic profile may be responsible for the skeletal phenotypes observed after bariatric surgery.
African-American women have a lower risk of fracture than white women, and this difference is only partially explained by differences in dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) areal bone mineral density (aBMD). Little is known about racial differences in skeletal microarchitecture and the consequences for bone strength. To evaluate potential factors underlying this racial difference in fracture rates, we used high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT) to assess cortical and trabecular bone microarchitecture and estimate bone strength using micro-finite element analysis (µFEA) in African-American (n = 100) and white (n = 173) women participating in the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN). African-American women had larger and denser bones than whites, with greater total area, aBMD, and total volumetric BMD (vBMD) at the radius and tibia metaphysis (p < 0.05 for all). African-Americans had greater trabecular vBMD at the radius, but higher cortical vBMD at the tibia. Cortical microarchitecture tended to show the most pronounced racial differences, with higher cortical area, thickness, and volumes in African-Americans at both skeletal sites (p < 0.05 for all), and lower cortical porosity in African-Americans at the tibia (p < 0.05). African-American women also had greater estimated bone stiffness and failure load at both the radius and tibia. Differences in skeletal microarchitecture and estimated stiffness and failure load persisted even after adjustment for DXA aBMD. The densitometric and microarchitectural predictors of failure load at the radius and tibia were the same in African-American and white women. In conclusion, differences in bone microarchitecture and density contribute to greater estimated bone strength in African-Americans and probably explain, at least in part, the lower fracture risk of African-American women.
BACKGROUND: Current approaches to diagnosing testosterone deficiency do not consider the physiological consequences of various testosterone levels or whether deficiencies of testosterone, estradiol, or both account for clinical manifestations.
METHODS: We provided 198 healthy men 20 to 50 years of age with goserelin acetate (to suppress endogenous testosterone and estradiol) and randomly assigned them to receive a placebo gel or 1.25 g, 2.5 g, 5 g, or 10 g of testosterone gel daily for 16 weeks. Another 202 healthy men received goserelin acetate, placebo gel or testosterone gel, and anastrozole (to suppress the conversion of testosterone to estradiol). Changes in the percentage of body fat and in lean mass were the primary outcomes. Subcutaneous- and intraabdominal-fat areas, thigh-muscle area and strength, and sexual function were also assessed.
RESULTS: The percentage of body fat increased in groups receiving placebo or 1.25 g or 2.5 g of testosterone daily without anastrozole (mean testosterone level, 44±13 ng per deciliter, 191±78 ng per deciliter, and 337±173 ng per deciliter, respectively). Lean mass and thigh-muscle area decreased in men receiving placebo and in those receiving 1.25 g of testosterone daily without anastrozole. Leg-press strength fell only with placebo administration. In general, sexual desire declined as the testosterone dose was reduced.
CONCLUSIONS: The amount of testosterone required to maintain lean mass, fat mass, strength, and sexual function varied widely in men. Androgen deficiency accounted for decreases in lean mass, muscle size, and strength; estrogen deficiency primarily accounted for increases in body fat; and both contributed to the decline in sexual function. Our findings support changes in the approach to evaluation and management of hypogonadism in men. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00114114.).
The technique of body composition by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) has been used for several years in the research environment. Its ability to accurately and precisely measure lean, fat, and mineral composition in various body compartments has been well validated. Furthermore, the technique is widely available to clinical patients on existing DXA instruments throughout the world through the use of specific software packages and scanning algorithms. There have been few clear statements regarding the clinical indications for body composition measurement in patients outside the research setting. This is in part because of the lack of specific documented interventions that would be affected by body composition test results, beyond usual clinical advice. We have examined a few of the most common, specific scenarios (HIV therapy, sarcopenia, bariatric surgery, obesity) and proposed indications for body composition assessment. We have also discussed contraindications to body composition testing.
Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) measurements of body composition increasingly are used in the evaluation of clinical disorders, but there has been little guidance on how to effectively report these measures. Uniformity in reporting of body composition measures will aid in the diagnosis of clinical disorders such as obesity, sarcopenia, and lipodystrophy. At the 2013 International Society for Clinical Densitometry Position Development Conference on body composition, the reporting section recommended that all DXA body composition reports should contain parameters of body mass index, bone mineral density, BMC, total mass, total lean mass, total fat mass, and percent fat mass. The inclusion of additional measures of adiposity and lean mass are optional, including visceral adipose tissue, appendicular lean mass index, android/gynoid percent fat ratio, trunk to leg fat mass ratio, lean mass index, and fat mass index. Within the United States, we recommend the use of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2004 body composition dataset as an age-, gender-, and race-specific reference and to calibrate BMC in 4-compartment models. Z-scores and percentiles of body composition measures may be useful for clinical interpretation if methods are used to adjust for non-normality. In particular, DXA body composition measures may be useful for risk-stratification of obese and sarcopenic patients, but there needs to be validation of thresholds to define obesity and sarcopenia. To summarize, these guidelines provide evidence-based standards for the reporting and clinical application of DXA-based measures of body composition.
OBJECTIVE: To compare image quality and radiation dose using Adaptive Statistical Iterative Reconstruction (ASiR) and Filtered Back Projection (FBP) in patients weighing ≥ 91 kg.
METHODS: In this Institution Review Board-approved retrospective study, single-phase contrast-enhanced abdominopelvic CT examinations of 100 adults weighing ≥ 91 kg (mean body weight: 107.6 ± 17.4 kg range: 91-181.9 kg) with (1) ASiR and (2) FBP were reviewed by two readers in a blinded fashion for subjective measures of image quality (using a subjective standardized numerical scale and objective noise) and for radiation exposure. Imaging parameters and radiation dose results of the two techniques were compared within weight and BMI sub-categories.
RESULTS: All examinations were found to be of adequate quality. Both subjective (mean = 1.4 ± 0.5 vs. 1.6 ± 0.6, P < 0.05) and objective noise (13.0 ± 3.2 vs.19.5 ± 5.7, P < 0.0001) were lower with ASiR. Average radiation dose reduction of 31.5 % was achieved using ASiR (mean CTDIvol. ASiR: 13.5 ± 7.3 mGy; FBP: 19.7 ± 9.0 mGy, P < 0.0001). Other measures of image quality were comparable between the two techniques. Trends for all parameters were similar in patients across weight and BMI sub-categories.
CONCLUSION: In obese individuals, abdominal CT images reconstructed using ASiR provide diagnostic images with reduced image noise at lower radiation dose.
KEY POINTS: • CT images in obese adults are noisy, even with high radiation dose. • Newer iterative reconstruction techniques have theoretical advantages in obese patients. • Adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction should reduce image noise and radiation dose. • This has been proven in abdominopelvic CT images of obese patients.
CONTEXT: Animal models and human studies suggest that osteocytes regulate the skeleton's response to mechanical unloading in part by an increase in sclerostin. However, few studies have reported changes in serum sclerostin in humans exposed to reduced mechanical loading.
OBJECTIVE: We determined changes in serum sclerostin and bone turnover markers in healthy adult men undergoing controlled bed rest.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Seven healthy adult men (31 ± 3 yr old) underwent 90 d of 6° head down tilt bed rest at the University of Texas Medical Branch Institute for Translational Sciences-Clinical Research Center.
OUTCOMES: Serum sclerostin, PTH, vitamin D, bone resorption and formation markers, urinary calcium and phosphorus excretion, and 24-h pooled urinary markers of bone resorption were evaluated before bed rest [baseline (BL)] and at bed rest d 28 (BR-28), d 60 (BR-60), and d 90 (BR-90). Bone mineral density was measured at BL, BR-60, and 5 d after the end of the study (BR+5). Data are reported as mean ± SD.
RESULTS: Consistent with prior reports, bone mineral density declined significantly (1-2% per month) at weight-bearing skeletal sites. Serum sclerostin was elevated above BL at BR-28 (+29 ± 20%; P = 0.003) and BR-60 (+42 ± 31%; P < 0.001), with a lesser increase at BR-90 (+22 ± 21%; P = 0.07). Serum PTH levels were reduced at BR-28 (-17 ± 16%; P = 0.02) and BR-60 (-24 ± 14%; P = 0.03) and remained lower than BL at BR-90 (-21 ± 21%; P = 0.14), but did not reach statistical significance. Serum bone turnover markers were unchanged; however, urinary bone resorption markers and calcium were significantly elevated at all time points after bed rest (P < 0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: In healthy men subjected to controlled bed rest for 90 d, serum sclerostin increased, with a peak at 60, whereas serum PTH declined, and urinary calcium and bone resorption markers increased.
Major alterations in body composition, such as with obesity and weight loss, have complex effects on the measurement of bone mineral density (BMD) by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). The effects of altered body fat on quantitative computed tomography (QCT) measurements are unknown. We scanned a spine phantom by DXA and QCT before and after surrounding with sequential fat layers (up to 12 kg). In addition, we measured lumbar spine and proximal femur BMD by DXA and trabecular spine BMD by QCT in 13 adult volunteers before and after a simulated 7.5 kg increase in body fat. With the spine phantom, DXA BMD increased linearly with sequential fat layering at the normal (p < 0.01) and osteopenic (p < 0.01) levels, but QCT BMD did not change significantly. In humans, fat layering significantly reduced DXA spine BMD values (mean ± SD: -2.2 ± 3.7%, p = 0.05) and increased the variability of measurements. In contrast, fat layering increased QCT spine BMD in humans (mean ± SD: 1.5 ± 2.5%, p = 0.05). Fat layering did not change mean DXA BMD of the femoral neck or total hip in humans significantly, but measurements became less precise. Associations between baseline and fat-simulation scans were stronger for QCT of the spine (r(2)= 0.97) than for DXA of the spine (r(2)= 0.87), total hip (r(2) = 0.80), or femoral neck (r(2)= 0.75). Bland-Altman plots revealed that fat-associated errors were greater for DXA spine and hip BMD than for QCT trabecular spine BMD. Fat layering introduces error and decreases the reproducibility of DXA spine and hip BMD measurements in human volunteers. Although overlying fat also affects QCT BMD measurements, the error is smaller and more uniform than with DXA BMD. Caution must be used when interpreting BMD changes in humans whose body composition is changing.
CONTEXT: Animal models suggest that the osteoblast-stimulating actions of PTH are mediated by acute suppression of sclerostin, an inhibitor of the anabolic Wnt pathway. The immediate physiological changes in serum sclerostin in response to PTH infusion have not been reported in human studies.
OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine the acute physiological effects of PTH infusion on serum sclerostin and bone turnover markers in healthy adult men.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Fifty-three healthy adult men underwent an 18-h iv infusion of human PTH(1-34) at a dose of 0.55 U/kg · h.
OUTCOMES: Serum levels of ionized calcium, sclerostin, and markers of bone formation (osteocalcin and amino-terminal propeptide of type I procollagen) and bone resorption (C-telopeptide and N-telopeptide) were obtained at 0, 6, 12, and 18 h.
RESULTS: Serum ionized calcium, C-telopeptide, and N-telopeptide increased, and osteocalcin and amino-terminal propeptide of type I procollagen fell linearly throughout the PTH infusion (P < 0.001 for all). Average ± sem sclerostin levels declined from 936 ± 65 to 813 ± 63 pg/ml at 6 h (P < 0.001) and remained stably suppressed for the duration of the PTH infusion. There were no significant correlations between change in sclerostin and change in bone markers.
CONCLUSIONS: Serum sclerostin declined in response to acute PTH infusion within 6 h in healthy adult men. The early plateau in sclerostin suppression may indicate that maximal stimulation of the Wnt pathway is achieved quickly after exposure to PTH. Our findings support the hypothesis that PTH may mediate its anabolic effects in part via suppression of sclerostin.
BACKGROUND: Concerns have been raised about the risk of fractures with acid-suppressive medications, such as proton pump inhibitors and histamine(2)-receptor antagonists.
METHODS: This meta-analysis evaluated the association between proton pump inhibitor or histamine(2)-receptor antagonist use and fractures. We performed a systematic search of published literature (1970 to October 10, 2010) in MEDLINE, EMBASE, and other sources. Ten publications reporting 11 studies were considered eligible for analysis.
RESULTS: All studies were observational case-control or cohort studies and primarily evaluated older adults. The summary effect estimate for risk of hip fracture increased modestly among individuals taking proton pump inhibitors (relative risk [RR] 1.30, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.19-1.43). There also was an increase in spine (RR 1.56, 95% CI, 1.31-1.85) and any-site fractures (RR 1.16, 95% CI, 1.04-1.30) among proton pump inhibitor users. These findings were similar in both men and women and after stratification by duration of use. In contrast, histamine(2)-receptor antagonist use was not significantly associated with increased risk of hip fracture (RR 1.12, 95% CI, 0.97-1.30).
CONCLUSION: In this meta-analysis of observational studies, proton pump inhibitors modestly increased the risk of hip, spine, and any-site fractures, whereas histamine(2)-receptor antagonists were not associated with fracture risk. The possibility of residual confounding cannot be excluded. Further skeletal evaluation should be considered for patients who are taking proton pump inhibitors and also at risk for osteoporotic fracture.
Once-daily injections of teriparatide initially increase biochemical markers of bone formation and resorption, but markers peak after 6-12 months and then decline despite continued treatment. We sought to determine whether increasing teriparatide doses in a stepwise fashion could prolong skeletal responsiveness. We randomized 52 postmenopausal women with low spine and/or hip bone mineral density (BMD) to either a constant or an escalating subcutaneous teriparatide dose (30 μg daily for 18months or 20 μg daily for 6 months, then 30 μg daily for 6 months, and then 40 μg daily for 6 months). Serum procollagen I N-terminal propeptide, osteocalcin, and C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen were assessed frequently. BMD of the spine, hip, radius, and total body was measured every 6 months. Acute changes in urinary cyclic AMP in response to teriparatide were examined in a subset of women in the constant dose group. All bone markers differed significantly between the two treatment groups. During the final six months, bone markers declined in the constant dose group but remained stable or increased in the escalating dose group (all markers, p<0.017). Nonetheless, mean area under the curve did not differ between treatments for any bone marker, and BMD increases were equivalent in both treatment groups. Acute renal response to teriparatide, as assessed by urinary cyclic AMP, did not change over 18 months of teriparatide administration. In conclusion, stepwise increases in teriparatide prevented the decline in bone turnover markers that is observed with chronic administration without altering BMD increases. The time-dependent waning of the response to teriparatide appears to be bone-specific.
Recent studies have suggested an increased fracture risk with acid-suppressive medication use. We studied two cohorts of men and women over age 65 who were enrolled in the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study (MrOS) and the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures (SOF), respectively. We used dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and assessed baseline use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and/or H2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs) in 5,755 men and 5,339 women. Medication use and bone mineral density (BMD) were assessed, and hip and other nonspine fractures were documented. On multivariate analysis, men using either PPIs or H2RAs had lower cross-sectional bone mass. No significant BMD differences were observed among women. However, there was an increased risk of nonspine fracture among women using PPIs (relative hazard [RH] = 1.34, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.10-1.64). PPI use was also associated with an increased risk of nonspine fracture in men but only among those who were not taking calcium supplements (RH = 1.49, 95% CI 1.04-2.14). H2RA use was not associated with nonspine fractures, and neither H2RA use nor PPI use was associated with incident hip fractures in men or women. The use of PPIs in older women, and perhaps older men with low calcium intake, may be associated with a modestly increased risk of nonspine fracture.