Effect of Endogenous Parathyroid Hormone on Bone Geometry and Skeletal Microarchitecture

Calcif Tissue Int. 2019 Apr;104(4):382-389. doi: 10.1007/s00223-019-00517-0. Epub 2019 Jan 18.


Parathyroid hormone (PTH) has anabolic or catabolic effects on bones; however, the skeletal effect of endogenous PTH on cortical and trabecular bones is not yet clear. Therefore, we aimed to examine the effects of an excess and a deficiency of endogenous PTH on the lumbar spine trabecular bone score (TBS) and bone geometry using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. We retrospectively included 70 patients with primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT), 26 patients with idiopathic or postoperative hypoparathyroidism (HypoPT), and 96 normal controls matched by age, sex, and body mass index. The bone mineral density (BMD) at the lumbar spine, femur neck, and total hip was higher in the HypoPT, followed by the controls and PHPT group (all P < 0.001). The TBS was significantly decreased in the PHPT group compared to the controls (P = 0.021); however, statistical significance disappeared after adjusting for the lumbar BMD (P = 0.653). There were no significant differences in the TBS between the HypoPT group and controls as well as the PHPT and HypoPT group. As for bone geometry parameters, the cross-sectional area, cross-sectional moment of inertia, and section modulus were higher in the HypoPT, followed by the controls and PHPT group (all P < 0.001); statistical significance remained after adjusting for the total hip BMD. We also observed a significantly increased cortical neck width in the HypoPT group compared to the PHPT group (P = 0.009). The buckling ratio was higher in the PHPT than the HypoPT group and controls (P = 0.018 and P = 0.013, respectively). The present study demonstrated that an excess of endogenous PTH had catabolic effects on both cortical and trabecular bones. Under conditions of endogenous PTH deficiency, the effect on cortical bone was pronounced, but that on trabecular bone was modest.

Keywords: Bone geometry; Bone mineral density; Parathyroid hormone; Trabecular bone score.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon / methods
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bone Density / drug effects*
  • Cancellous Bone / drug effects
  • Cancellous Bone / metabolism
  • Female
  • Femur Neck / drug effects
  • Femur Neck / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hyperparathyroidism / drug therapy*
  • Hypoparathyroidism / drug therapy*
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / drug effects
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parathyroid Hormone / pharmacology*


  • Parathyroid Hormone