HIV Infection Is Associated With Abnormal Bone Microarchitecture: Measurement of Trabecular Bone Score in the Women's Interagency HIV Study

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2018 Aug 1;78(4):441-449. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000001692.


Objectives: We compared skeletal microarchitecture using trabecular bone score (TBS) and evaluated relationships between change in TBS and lumbar spine (LS) bone mineral density (BMD) in women with and without HIV.

Methods: Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was performed on 319 women with HIV and 118 without HIV in the Women's Interagency HIV Study at baseline and 2 and 5 years, to measure regional BMD and lean and fat mass. TBS was extracted from LS dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry images and examined continuously and categorically [normal (≥1.35), intermediate (1.20-1.35), or degraded (≤1.20) microarchitecture]. Pearson correlation and linear regression examined associations of TBS with regional BMD at baseline and over time.

Results: Women with HIV were older (43 vs. 37 years), more likely to be postmenopausal (27% vs. 4%), have lower baseline total fat mass, trunk fat, and leg fat than uninfected women, degraded microarchitecture (27% vs. 9%, P = 0.001), and lower baseline mean TBS (1.3 ± 0.1 vs. 1.4 ± 0.1, P < 0.001). After adjusting for age, race, menopause status, and body mass index, TBS remained lower in women with HIV (P < 0.0001). Annual change in TBS correlated with LS BMD change among women with HIV (r = 0.36, P < 0.0001) and without HIV (r = 0.26, P = 0.02); however, mean % annual TBS change did not differ by HIV status (-1.0%/yr ± 2.9% for HIV+ vs. -0.8%/yr ± 1.7% for HIV-, P = 0.42).

Conclusions: Women with HIV have worse bone microarchitecture than uninfected women, but annual percent change in LS BMD or TBS was similar. Use of TBS as an adjunct to BMD to improve prediction of fragility fractures in women with HIV merits further study.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adult
  • Bone Density*
  • Cancellous Bone / pathology*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / pathology*
  • Middle Aged