Trabecular bone score (TBS): Method and applications

Bone. 2017 Nov:104:66-72. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2017.01.035. Epub 2017 Feb 1.


Trabecular bone score (TBS) is a texture index derived from standard lumbar spine dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) images and provides information about the underlying bone independent of the bone mineral density (BMD). Several salient observations have emerged. Numerous studies have examined the relationship between TBS and fracture risk and have shown that lower TBS values are associated with increased risk for major osteoporotic fracture in postmenopausal women and older men, with this result being independent of BMD values and other clinical risk factors. Therefore, despite being derived from standard DXA images, the information contained in TBS is independent and complementary to the information provided by BMD and the FRAX® tool. A procedure to generate TBS-adjusted FRAX probabilities has become available with the resultant predicted fracture risks shown to be more accurate than the standard FRAX tool. With these developments, TBS has emerged as a clinical tool for improved fracture risk prediction and guiding decisions regarding treatment initiation, particularly for patients with FRAX probabilities around an intervention threshold. In this article, we review the development, validation, clinical application, and limitations of TBS.

Keywords: Bone texture; Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry; Fracture; Osteoporosis; Trabecular bone score.

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Bone Density / physiology*
  • Cancellous Bone / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Osteoporosis / diagnostic imaging