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Evaluating bone fragility and mineralization at the distal radius based on fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Outcomes in a trial of osteoporotic postmenopausal women

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Background: Osteoporosis is a complex disease characterized by structural bone deterioration and loss of bone mass, associated with an increased risk of fragility fracture. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) on bone mineral content and bone strength in a cohort of osteoporotic postmenopausal women with forearm fractures. Material and Method: A longitudinal, randomized, 4 year experimental and observational survey was conducted on 44 eligible postmenopausal women with forearm fractures. Exclusion criteria: Patients with autoimmune diseases, diabetes, and use of medications known to affect BMD. Biopsies from the distal radius were taken when performing intraoperative fracture fixation. Infrared absorption spectra were traced with a JASCO FT IR unit (with automatic reading of the absorption bands) with a spectral range of 600-4000 cm-1. BMD was measured at the lumbar spine and hip by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA Hologic).

Results: Among the women included in the study, 38 (86.36%) had a Colles’ fracture. All spectra highlighted the same regions of interest – detailed by vibrational bands which reveal compositional information regarding inorganic and organic components of bone tissue, respectively: phosphates, carbonates, crystallinity by hydroxyapatite, collagen maturation. BMD T-score spine (-2.8 +- 0.7), was significantly lower when compared with the values at the femoral hip (-2.3 +- 0.8) (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: FTIR spectroscopy is a valuable research tool, which may improve the knowledge of the bone mineral content, as well as the changes in mineral structure and composition, which occur in osteoporotic postmenopausal women with forearm fractures. The crystalline texture and the collagen matrix are important parameters which point out the status of bone fragility and are predictors of the bone remodeling activity and fracture risk, by guiding the principles of therapy. Abbreviations: FTIR – Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy; BMD – Bone Mineral Density.

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