Bone microarchitecture is impaired in premenopausal women with active celiac disease, a new study from Argentina shows.
“This report helps us to understand how bone is affected in celiac disease: increasing bone resorption and thinning trabeculae, even losing some number of them,” Dr. María Belén Zanchetta from Instituto de Diagnóstico e Investigaciones Metabólicas in Buenos Aires told Reuters Health by email. “We do not know yet if this damage can be completely reversed with gluten-free diet.”
Osteopenia and osteoporosis are recognized complications of celiac disease, but no studies have assessed the microarchitectural quality of bones in celiac disease patients. Dr. Zanchetta’s team used high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT) to compare microarchitectural characteristics of peripheral bone in 31 adult premenopausal women with active celiac disease and 22 healthy premenopausal women of similar age and body mass index (BMI).
Compared with controls, women with celiac disease had 26.4% lower trabecular density, 18% lower trabecular thickness, and 10.5% lower trabecular number in the distal radius, along with 15% higher trabecular spacing and 23% higher heterogeneity of the trabecular network (all statistically significant). Results were similar at the distal tibia, the researchers report in Bone, online March 14.