Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Review
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Trabecular bone score: a noninvasive analytical method based upon the DXA image.

The trabecular bone score (TBS) is a gray-level textural metric that can be extracted from the two-dimensional lumbar spine dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) image. TBS is related to bone microarchitecture and provides skeletal information that is not captured from the standard bone mineral density (BMD) measurement. Based on experimental variograms of the projected DXA image, TBS has the potential to discern differences between DXA scans that show similar BMD measurements. An elevated TBS value correlates with better skeletal microstructure; a low TBS value correlates with weaker skeletal microstructure. Lumbar spine TBS has been evaluated in cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. The following conclusions are based upon publications reviewed in this article: 1) TBS gives lower values in postmenopausal women and in men with previous fragility fractures than their nonfractured counterparts; 2) TBS is complementary to data available by lumbar spine DXA measurements; 3) TBS results are lower in women who have sustained a fragility fracture but in whom DXA does not indicate osteoporosis or even osteopenia; 4) TBS predicts fracture risk as well as lumbar spine BMD measurements in postmenopausal women; 5) efficacious therapies for osteoporosis differ in the extent to which they influence the TBS; 6) TBS is associated with fracture risk in individuals with conditions related to reduced bone mass or bone quality. Based on these data, lumbar spine TBS holds promise as an emerging technology that could well become a valuable clinical tool in the diagnosis of osteoporosis and in fracture risk assessment.

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