Utility of the trabecular bone score (TBS) in secondary osteoporosis

Fabio M. Ulivieri, Barbara C. Silva, Francesco Sardanelli, Didier Hans, John P. Bilezikian, Renata Caudarella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Altered bone micro-architecture is an important factor in accounting for fragility fractures. Until recently, it has not been possible to gain information about skeletal microstructure in a way that is clinically feasible. Bone biopsy is essentially a research tool. High-resolution peripheral Quantitative Computed Tomography, while non-invasive, is available only sparsely throughout the world. The trabecular bone score (TBS) is an imaging technology adapted directly from the Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA) image of the lumbar spine. Thus, it is potentially readily and widely available. In recent years, a large number of studies have demonstrated that TBS is significantly associated with direct measurements of bone micro-architecture, predicts current and future fragility fractures in primary osteoporosis, and may be a useful adjunct to BMD for fracture detection and prediction. In this review, we summarize its potential utility in secondary causes of osteoporosis. In some situations, like glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis and in diabetes mellitus, the TBS appears to out-perform DXA. It also has apparent value in numerous other disorders associated with diminished bone health, including primary hyperparathyroidism, androgen-deficiency, hormone-receptor positive breast cancer treatment, chronic kidney disease, hemochromatosis, and autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis. Further research is both needed and warranted to more clearly establish the role of TBS in these and other disorders that adversely affect bone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-448
Number of pages14
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 21 2014


  • Bone quality
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Primary hyperparathyroidism
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Secondary osteoporosis
  • Trabecular bone score

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Medicine(all)


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