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Usefulness of calcaneal quantitative ultrasound stiffness for the evaluation of bone health in HIV-1-infected subjects: comparison with dual X-ray absorptiometry

Authors Fantauzzi A, Floridia M, Ceci F, Cacciatore F, Vullo V, Mezzaroma I

Received 5 November 2015

Accepted for publication 9 February 2016

Published 31 May 2016 Volume 2016:8 Pages 109—117


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Bassel Sawaya

Alessandra Fantauzzi,1 Marco Floridia,2 Fabrizio Ceci,3 Francesco Cacciatore,4 Vincenzo Vullo,5 Ivano Mezzaroma1

1Department of Clinical Medicine, Sapienza – University of Rome, 2Department of Therapeutic Research and Medicines Evaluation, Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS), 3Department of Cellular Biotechnologies and Hematology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, 4U.O. of Cardiac Rehabilitation, Fondazione Salvatore Maugeri, IRCCS, Istituto di Telese Terme, Benevento, 5Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, Sapienza – University of Rome, Rome, Italy

Objectives: With the development of effective treatments and the resulting increase in life expectancy, bone mineral density (BMD) alteration has emerged as an important comorbidity in human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1)-infected individuals. The potential contributors to the pathogenesis of osteopenia/osteoporosis include a higher prevalence of risk factors, combined antiretroviral therapy (cART)-exposure, HIV-1 itself and chronic immune activation/inflammation. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is the “gold standard” technique for assessing bone status in HIV-1 population.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study to investigate bone mineral status in a group of 158 HIV-1-infected subjects. The primary endpoint was the feasibility of calcaneal quantitative ultrasound (QUS) as a screening tool for BMD. All subjects were receiving stable cART and were virologically suppressed (HIV-RNA <37 copies/mL) from at least 12 months. Calcaneal QUS parameters were analyzed to obtain information on bone mass and microarchitecture. The results were compared with those obtained by DXA.
No correlations were found between DXA/QUS parameters and demographic or HIV-1-specific characteristics, also including cART strategies. In the univariate analyses BMD, QUS indexes, and Fracture Risk Assessment Tool scores conversely showed significant associations with one or more demographic or HIV-1-related variables. Moreover, a significant relationship between calcaneal quantitative ultrasound index/stiffness and femoral/lumbar BMD values from DXA was described. The multivariate analysis showed an independent association between calcaneal quantitative ultrasound index/stiffness and body mass index, higher CD4+ T-cell numbers and low 25-OH D2/D3 vitamin D levels <10 ng/mL (P-values: 0.004, 0.016, and 0.015, respectively).
Conclusion: As an alternative and/or integrative examination to DXA, calcaneal QUS could be proposed as a useful screening in HIV-1-infected patients for assessing bone health impairment. In fact, the results obtained confirm that calcaneal QUS may be useful for monitoring bone status, being a noninvasive and inexpensive technique, especially in those subjects with the classical traditional risk factors for bone damage that were observed earlier in HIV-1 population.

Keywords: bone mineral density, fracture risk, calcaneal quantitative ultrasound, DXA

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