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High Prevalence of Radiological Vertebral Fractures in Adult Patients with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

key information

source: Bone

year: 2016

authors: Mazziotti G, Dordoni C, Doga M, Galderisi F, Venturini M, Calzavara-Pinton P, Maroldi R, Giustina A, Colombi M


Previous studies have reported an increased prevalence of osteoporosis in Ehlers–Danlos syndrome (EDS), but these were limited by a small number of patients and lack of information on fragility fractures. In this crosssectional study, we evaluated the prevalence of radiological vertebral fractures (by quantitative morphometry) and bone mineral density (BMD, at lumbar spine, total hip and femoral neck by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) in 52 consecutive patientswith EDS (10 males, 42 females; median age 41 years, range: 21–71; 12with EDS classic type, 37 with EDS hypermobility type, 1 with classic vascular-like EDS, and 2 without specific classification) and 197 control subjects (163 females and 34 males; median age 49 years, range: 26–83) attending an outpatient bone clinic. EDS patients were also evaluated for back pain by numeric pain rating scale (NRS- 11).Vertebral fractures were significantly more prevalent in EDS as compared to the control subjects (38.5% vs. 5.1%; p b 0.001) without significant differences in BMD at either skeletal sites. In EDS patients, the prevalence of vertebral fractures was not significantly (p = 0.72) different between classic and hypermobility types. BMD was not significantly different between fractured and non-fractured EDS patients either at lumbar spine (p = 0.14), total hip (p=0.08), or femoral neck (p=0.21). Severe back pain(≥7 NRS)was more frequent in EDS patients with vertebral fractures as compared to thosewithout fractures (60% vs. 28%; p=0.04). Inconclusion, this is the first study showing high prevalence of vertebral fractures in a relatively large population of EDS patients. Vertebral fractures were associated with more severe back pain suggesting a potential involvement of skeletal fragility in determining poor quality of life. The lack of correlation between vertebral fractures and BMD is consistent with the hypothesis that bone quality may be impaired in EDS.

organization: University of Brescia

DOI: 10.1016/j.bone.2015.12.007

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