Asymptomatic vertebral fractures in patients with low bone mineral density

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Objective: Vertebral fracture assessment (VFA) is a test technique that can be used to detect asymptomatic vertebral fractures (AVF). It uses dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and can be performed concurrently with bone densitometry. This study aims to assess the prevalence of AVF in patients with low bone mass. Methods: Cross-sectional study including 135 individuals with low bone mineral density (BMD) with a T-score < -2.0 standard deviation (SD) in a densitometry clinic located in the city of Blumenau (state of Santa Catarina). Anthropometric, clinical and lifestyle variables were obtained from history-taking and physical examination. Densitometric variables were obtained by bone mineral densitometry and VFA (Explorer, Hollogic®). Vertebral fractures were classified according to the Genant criteria. Student's t, chi-square and logistic regression were performed for statistical analysis. Results: AVFs occurred in 24.4% of the subjects. They were older compared to those without AVF (65±9.25 versus 60.1±8.66; p=0.005), and had a history of lowimpact fractures (38.24% versus 19.8%; OR 2.5; p=0.03). Half of the patients that reported steroid therapy had AVFs, compared to one fifth of those who did not use steroids (50% versus 21.49%; OR 3.6; p=0.01). Conclusion: Asymptomatic vertebral fractures were present in approximately one fourth of patients. The risk factors associated were history of low-impact fracture, use of steroids and age > 61 years.




De Negreiros, C. C. L., Berigo, M. G., Dominoni, R. L., & Vargas, D. M. (2016). Asymptomatic vertebral fractures in patients with low bone mineral density. Revista Da Associacao Medica Brasileira, 62(2), 145–150.

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