Organic matrix quality discriminates between age- and BMD-matched fracturing versus non-fracturing post-menopausal women: A pilot study

S. Rokidi, E. P. Paschalis, K. Klaushofer, S. Vennin, A. Desyatova, J. A. Turner, P. Watson, J. Lappe, M. P. Akhter, R. R. Recker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Women with similar areal Bone Mineral Densities (BMD) may show divergent fracture incidence due to differences in bone quality. The hypothesis tested in the present pilot study is that postmenopausal (PM) women who have sustained osteoporotic fractures have altered organic matrix quality compared to those who have not. We used Raman microspectroscopy to analyze transiliac biopsies collected from fracturing (n = 6, mean age 62.5 ± 7.4 yrs; Cases) and non-fracturing PM women (n = 6, age- and BMD-matched; mean age 62.2 ± 7.3 yrs; Controls). Previous results show differences in intrinsic material properties by nanoindentation that are more homogenously distributed and could facilitate microcrack propagation in Cases, along with lower mineral carbonate/phosphate ratio by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic imaging, and no differences in bone tissue mineralization by digitized microradiography. No differences between groups were seen by conventional histomorphometry. Spectra were acquired 2 μm away from previously performed nanoindents, in cortical and cancellous compartments. The determined parameters were: mineral to matrix ratio (MM), and nanoporosity (a surrogate for tissue water (TW)), glycosaminoglycan (GAG), pyridinoline (Pyd; trivalent enzymatic collagen cross-link), N(6)-carboxymethyllysine (CML; advanced glycation endproduct), and pentosidine (PEN; advanced glycation endproduct) content. ANCOVA indicated no differences in any of the spectroscopic outcomes between cancellous and cortical compartments. On the other hand, Cases had lower nanoporosity (TW) and GAG, and elevated Pyd, and CML content compared to Controls. In conclusion, the results of the present study indicate significant differences in organic matrix quality in PM women that sustain fragility fractures versus age- and BMD-matched controls, highlighting its importance as a potential independent determinant of fracture incidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-214
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • Advanced glycation endproducts
  • Fragility fracture
  • Glycosaminoglycans
  • Postmenopause
  • Pyridinoline
  • Raman spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Histology
  • Physiology


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