To assess differential features of marrow adiposity between postmenopausal women with osteoarthritis and osteoporosis using water/fat MRI

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Objective:To assess the differential features of marrow adiposity between osteoarthritis (OA) and osteoporosis (OP) in postmenopausal women using water/fat MRI.Methods:This cross-sectional study included 97 postmenopausal women (OA [n = 25], OA + osteopenia [n = 27], OA + OP [n = 23], and OP groups [n = 22]). Water/fat MRI, dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and biochemical analysis were performed to assess vertebral marrow fat fraction, bone mineral density, and bone biomarkers, respectively. Harris Hip Score was recorded to evaluate hip function.Results:There were significant differences in marrow fat content among the OA, OA + osteopenia, and OA + OP groups, between OP and OA participants with normal bone mass or osteopenia (all P < 0.05); no significant difference was observed between OA + OP and OP groups. Serum levels of leptin and β-Crosslaps in OA with normal bone mass and osteopenic OA groups were higher than in OP group. Marrow fat fraction was inversely correlated with Harris Hip Score (r = −0.371, P = 0.013), bone mineral density (r = −0.554, P = 0.009) and leptin levels (r = −0.610, P < 0.001). In multivariate regression analysis, marrow fat fraction was found to have a consistent and unchanged inverse association with leptin levels (Sβ = −0.311, P = 0.002) and bone mineral density (Sβ =  −0.265, P = 0.006) after adjusting for age, years since menopause, and body mass index.Conclusions:Postmenopausal OA with OP have a phenotype with higher marrow adiposity. OA and OP could coexist, for the presence of a specific subgroup of OA with increased marrow fat accumulation and high risk of developing OP.

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