Effects of anti-resorptive agents on trabecular bone score (TBS) in older women

Osteoporos Int. 2013 Mar;24(3):1073-8. doi: 10.1007/s00198-012-2155-y. Epub 2012 Oct 3.


We evaluated the longitudinal effects of anti-resorptive agents (534 treated women vs. 1,150 untreated) on lumbar spine bone mineral density (BMD) and trabecular bone score (TBS). TBS was responsive to treatment in women over age 50. The treatment-related increase in TBS was less than the increase in BMD, which is consistent with bone texture preservation.

Introduction: In addition to inducing an increase in BMD, anti-resorptive agents also help to preserve bone architecture. TBS, a new gray-level texture measurement, correlates with 3D parameters of bone micro-architecture independent of BMD. Our objective was to evaluate the longitudinal effects of anti-resorptive agents on lumbar spine BMD and TBS.

Methods: Women (≥ 50 years), from the BMD program database for the province of Manitoba, Canada, who had not received any anti-resorptive drug prior to their initial dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) exam were divided into two groups: untreated, those without any anti-resorptive drug over the course of follow-up, and treated, those with a non-estrogen anti-resorptive drug (86 % bisphosphonates, 10 % raloxifene, and 4 % calcitonin). Lumbar spine TBS was calculated for each lumbar spine DXA examination. Changes in TBS and BMD between baseline and follow-up (mean follow-up 3.7 years), expressed in percentage per year, were compared between the two groups.

Results: A total of 1,150 untreated women and 534 treated women met the inclusion criteria. Only a weak correlation was seen between BMD and TBS in either group. Significant intergroup differences in BMD change and TBS change were observed over the course of follow-up (p < 0.001). Similar mean decreases in BMD and TBS (-0.36 %/year and -0.31 %/year, respectively) were seen for untreated subjects (both p < 0.001). Conversely, treated subjects exhibited a significant mean increase in BMD (+1.86 %/year, p < 0.002) and TBS (+0.20 %/year, p < 0.001).

Conclusion: TBS is responsive to treatment with non-estrogen anti-resorptive drug therapy in women over age 50. The treatment-related increase in TBS is less than the increase in BMD, which is consistent with bone texture preservation.

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon / methods
  • Aged
  • Bone Density / drug effects*
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / pharmacology
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Diphosphonates / pharmacology
  • Diphosphonates / therapeutic use
  • Drug Monitoring / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / drug effects*
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / physiopathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / drug therapy*
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / physiopathology
  • Radiographic Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Diphosphonates