Bone mineral density, turnover, and microarchitecture assessed by second-generation high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography in patients with Sheehan's syndrome

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Osteoporosis international


UNLABELLED: Sheehan's syndrome (SS) is a rare but well-characterized cause of hypopituitarism. Data on skeletal health is limited and on microarchitecture is lacking in SS patients.

PURPOSE: We aimed to explore skeletal health in SS with bone mineral density (BMD), turnover, and microarchitecture.

METHODS: Thirty-five patients with SS on stable replacement therapy for respective hormone deficiencies and 35 age- and BMI-matched controls were recruited. Hormonal profile and bone turnover markers (BTMs) were measured using electrochemiluminescence assay. Areal BMD and trabecular bone score were evaluated using DXA. Bone microarchitecture was assessed using a second-generation high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography.

RESULTS: The mean age of the patients was 45.5 ± 9.3 years with a lag of 8.3 ± 7.2 years prior to diagnosis. Patients were on glucocorticoid (94%), levothyroxine (94%), and estrogen-progestin replacement (58%). None had received prior growth hormone (GH) replacement. BTMs (P1NP and CTX) were not significantly different between patients and controls. Osteoporosis (26% vs. 16%, p = 0.01) and osteopenia (52% vs. 39%, p = 0.007) at the lumbar spine and femoral neck (osteoporosis, 23% vs. 10%, p = 0.001; osteopenia, 58% vs. 29%, p = 0.001) were present in greater proportion in SS patients than matched controls. Bone microarchitecture analysis revealed significantly lower cortical volumetric BMD (vBMD) (p = 0.02) at the tibia, with relative preservation of the other parameters.

CONCLUSION: Low areal BMD (aBMD) is highly prevalent in SS as compared to age- and BMI-matched controls. However, there were no significant differences in bone microarchitectural measurements, except for tibial cortical vBMD, which was lower in adequately treated SS patients.

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ePub ahead of print