Unequal decrease in bone density of lumbar spine and ultradistal radius in Colles' and vertebral fracture syndromes

R. Eastell, H. W. Wahner, M. O'Fallon, P. C. Amadio, L. J. Melton, B. L. Riggs

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We measured bone mineral density (BMD) at the lumbar spine (LS-BMD) and ultradistal radius (UDR-BMD) in 42 postmenopausal normal women and in 108 postmenopausal osteoporotic women (55 with vertebral fracture, 34 with Colles' fracture, and 19 with both fractures). By receiver operating characteristic analysis, LS-BMD was better than UDR-BMD (P < 0.01) as an indicator of vertebral fracture; the converse was true for Colles' fracture (P < 0.01). Although UDR-BMD and LS-BMD were lower in each of the three fracture groups than in controls (P < 0.01), the pattern of bone loss differed (P < 0.001, analysis of variance): with vertebral fracture, LS-BMD decreased relatively more than UDR-BMD; with Colles' fracture, UDR-BMD decreased relatively more than LS-BMD; and with both fractures, decreases in LS-BMD and UDR-BMD were similar. We conclude that both types of fracture are caused by excessive bone loss but the difference in bone loss at the two sites is a major factor in determining which will fracture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-174
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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