Trabecular bone histomorphometry in humans with type 1 diabetes Mellitus


Laura A.G. Armas, Mohammed P. Akhter, Andjela Drincic, Robert R. Recker


Patients with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (DM) have markedly increased risk of fracture, but little is known about abnormalities in bone micro-architecture or remodeling properties that might give insight into the pathogenesis of skeletal fragility in these patients. We report here a case–control study comparing bone histomorphometric and micro-CT results from iliac biopsies in 18 otherwise healthy subjects with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus with those from healthy age- and sex- matched non-diabetic control subjects. Five of the diabetics had histories of low-trauma fracture. Transilial bone biopsies were obtained after tetracycline labeling. The biopsy specimens were fixed, embedded, and scanned using a desktop μCT at 16 micron resolution. They were then sectioned and quantitative histomorphometry was performed as previously described by Recker et al. 1988.[1] Two sections, > 250 μm apart, were read from the central part of each biopsy. Overall there were no significant differences between diabetics and controls in histomorphometric or micro-CT measurements. However, fracturing diabetics had structural and dynamic trends different from nonfracturing diabetics by both methods of analysis. In conclusion, Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus does not result in abnormalities in bone histomorphometric or micro-CT variables in the absence of manifest complications from the diabetes. However, diabetics suffering fractures may have defects in their skeletal microarchitecture that may underlie the presence of excess skeletal fragility.

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