, Volume 22, Issue 11, pp 1815-1824,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 11 Jul 2007

A structural approach to the assessment of fracture risk in children and adolescents with chronic kidney disease


Children with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have multiple risk factors for impaired accretion of trabecular and cortical bone. CKD during childhood poses an immediate fracture risk and compromises adult bone mass, resulting in significantly greater skeletal fragility throughout life. High-turnover disease initially results in thickened trabeculae, with greater bone volume. As disease progresses, resorption cavities dissect trabeculae, connectivity degrades, and bone volume decreases. Increased bone turnover also results in increased cortical porosity and decreased cortical thickness. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA)-based measures of bone mineral density (BMD) are derived from the total bone mass within the projected bone area (g/cm2), concealing distinct disease effects in trabecular and cortical bone. In contrast, peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) estimates volumetric BMD (vBMD, g/cm3), distinguishes between cortical and trabecular bone, and provides accurate estimates of cortical dimensions. Recent data have confirmed that pQCT measures of cortical vBMD and thickness provide substantially greater fracture discrimination in adult dialysis patients compared with hip or spine DXA. The following review considers the structural effects of renal osteodystrophy as it relates to fracture risk and the potential advantages and disadvantages of DXA and alternative measures of bone density, geometry, and microarchitecture, such as pQCT, micro-CT (μCT), and micro magnetic resonance imaging (μMRI) for fracture risk assessment.