Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, United States of America; Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, United States of America. Electronic address: [Email]
End stage renal disease (ESRD) is associated with sarcopenia and skeletal fragility. The objectives of this cross-sectional study were to (1) characterize body composition, bone mineral density (BMD) and bone structure in hemodialysis patients compared with controls, (2) assess whether DXA areal BMD (aBMD) correlates with peripheral quantitative CT (pQCT) measures of volumetric BMD (vBMD), cortical dimensions and MRI measures of trabecular microarchitecture, and (3) determine the magnitude of bone deficits in ESRD after adjustment for muscle mass. Thirty ESRD participants, ages 25 to 64 years, were compared with 403 controls for DXA and pQCT outcomes and 104 controls for MRI outcomes; results were expressed as race- and sex- specific Z-scores relative to age. DXA appendicular lean mass index (ALMI kg/m2) and total hip, femoral neck, ultradistal and 1/3rd radius aBMD were significantly lower in ESRD, vs. controls (all p < 0.01). pQCT trabecular vBMD (p < 0.01), cortical vBMD (p < 0.001) and cortical thickness (due to a greater endosteal circumference, p < 0.02) and MRI measures of trabecular number, trabecular thickness, and whole bone stiffness were lower (all p < 0.01) in ESRD, vs. controls. ALMI was positively associated with total hip, femoral neck, ultradistal radius and 1/3rd radius aBMD and with tibia cortical thickness (R = 0.46 to 0.64). Adjustment for ALMI significantly attenuated bone deficits at these sites: e.g. mean femoral neck aBMD was 0.79 SD lower in ESRD, compared with controls and this was attenuated to 0.33 with adjustment for ALMI. In multivariate models within the dialysis participants, pQCT trabecular vBMD and cortical area Z-scores were significant and independently (all p < 0.02) associated with DXA femoral neck, total hip, and ultradistal radius aBMD Z-scores. Cortical vBMD (p = 0.01) and cortical area (p < 0.001) Z-scores were significantly and independently associated with 1/3rd radius areal aBMD Z-scores (R2 = 0.62). These data demonstrate that DXA aBMD captures deficits in trabecular and cortical vBMD and cortical area. The strong associations with ALMI, as an index of skeletal muscle, highlight the importance of considering the role of sarcopenia in skeletal fragility in patients with ESRD.