Pregnancy- and lactation-associated vertebral compression fractures: MRI prevalence and characteristics.

Yildiz A. E., Ozbalci A. B., Ergen F. B., Aydingoz Ü.

Osteoporosis international : a journal established as result of cooperation between the European Foundation for Osteoporosis and the National Osteoporosis Foundation of the USA, vol.32, no.5, pp.981-989, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


The frequency of pregnancy- and lactation-associated vertebral compression fractures (PLVCFs) is not known. This study showed that MRI prevalence of PLVCFs was approximately 0.5% in females >= 15 and < 40 years of age over a 48-month period. PLVCFs did not display MRI features distinguishing them from other vertebral insufficiency fractures. Purpose We aimed to investigate the MRI prevalence and characteristics of pregnancy- and lactation-associated vertebral compression fractures (PLVCFs). Methods This retrospective cross-sectional observational study included all thoracic, lumbar, or thoracolumbar MRI examinations performed in our hospital (or at outside centers and referred to us for consultation) of females >= 15 and < 40 years of age during a 48-month period. Two radiologists independently reviewed all images for vertebral compression fractures and their disagreement was resolved by a third blinded senior radiologist with 24 years of dedicated musculoskeletal radiology experience. MRI features of PLVCFs (early/late stage, height loss, endplate involvement, retropulsion) were noted. Results A total of 1484 MRI examinations-including 50 consultations from outside centers-of 1260 females (mean age, 27.7 years; range, 15-39) were included. Interobserver agreement of the two junior radiologists was substantial (kappa = 0.607; 95% CI, 0.545-0.669). Vertebral compression fractures were identified in 177 of thoracic (n = 210), lumbar (n = 900), or thoracolumbar MRI (n = 374) examinations. Six women (7 MRI examinations; 4.0% of MRIs with vertebral fractures) had PLVCFs diagnosed on MRI (prevalence, 0.47%; mean age, 31 years; age range, 25-37). Number of fractured vertebrae in cases with PLVCF ranged between 1 and 11 (mean, 5.6). DEXA, available in all patients with PLVCFs, verified osteopenia/osteoporosis in four of six patients. Conclusion PLVCFs have an MRI prevalence of approximately 0.5% in the target population and do not display distinguishing features from other insufficiency type vertebral compression fractures.