Influence of age and gender on microarchitecture and bone remodeling in subchondral bone of the osteoarthritic femoral head


Guangyi Li, Qiujian Zheng, Euphemie Landao-Bassonga, Tak S. Cheng, Nathan J. Pavlos, Yuanchen Ma, Changqing Zhang, Ming H. Zheng


Introduction Age and gender have been reported to have a remarkable impact on bone homeostasis. However, subchondral bone, which plays a pivotal role in the initiation and progression of OA, has been poorly investigated in this area. This study was to investigate age- and gender- related changes of microarchitecture and bone remodeling in subchondral bone in OA.

Methods Subchondral trabecular bone (STB) and deeper trabecular bone (DTB) specimens were extracted in the load-bearing region of femoral heads from 110 patients with OA. Micro-CT and histomorphometry were performed to analyze microarchitectural and bone remodeling changes of all specimens.

Results Compared to DTB, STB showed more sclerotic microarchitecture, more active bone remodeling and higher frequency of bone cysts. There were no gender differences for both microarchitecture and bone remodeling in STB. However, gender differences were found in DTB, with thinner Tb.Th, higher Tb.N, higher OS/BV and ES/BV in males. In both STB and DTB, no correlation between microarchitecture and age was found in both genders. However, bone remodeling of STB increased significantly with age in males, while bone remodeling of DTB increased significantly with age in females. No age or gender preference was found in subchondral bone cysts (SBCs) frequency. The cyst volume fraction was correlated with neither age nor gender.

Conclusions There were distinct differences in microarchitecture and bone remodeling between STB and DTB, which may be due to the distinct biomechanical and biochemical functions of these two bone structures in maintaining joint homeostasis. OA changed the normal age- and gender-dependence of bone homeostasis in joints, in a site-specific manner.

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