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Type: Journal article
Title: Bone microarchitecture in transgender adults: a cross-sectional study
Author: Bretherton, I.
Ghasem-Zadeh, A.
Leemaqz, S.Y.
Seeman, E.
Wang, X.
McFarlane, T.
Spanos, C.
Grossmann, M.
Zajac, J.D.
Cheung, A.S.
Citation: Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 2022; 37(4):643-648
Publisher: Wiley
Issue Date: 2022
ISSN: 0884-0431
Statement of
Ingrid Bretherton, Ali Ghasem-Zadeh, Shalem Y Leemaqz, Ego Seeman, Xiaofang Wang, Thomas McFarlane, Cassandra Spanos, Mathis Grossmann, Jeffrey D Zajac, and Ada S Cheung
Abstract: Gender-affirming hormone therapy aligns physical characteristics with an individual’s gender identity, but sex hormones regulate bone remodeling and influence bonemorphology. Wehypothesized that transmen receiving testosterone have compromised bonemorphology because of suppression of ovarian estradiol production, whereas trans women receiving estradiol, with or without anti-androgen therapy, have preserved bonemicroarchitecture.We compared distal radial and tibial microarchitecture using high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography images in a cross-sectional study of 41 trans men with 71 cis female controls, and 40 trans women with 51 cismale controls. Between-group differences were expressed as standardized deviations (SD) fromthemean in age-matched cisgender controls with 98% confidence intervals adjusted for cross-sectional area (CSA) and multiple comparisons. Relative to cis women, trans men had 0.63 SD higher total volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD; both p = 0.01). Cortical vBMD and cortical porosity did not differ, but cortices were 1.11 SD thicker (p < 0.01). Trabeculae were 0.38 SD thicker (p = 0.05) but otherwise no different. Compared with cismen, trans women had 0.68 SD lower total vBMD (p=0.01). Cortical vBMD was 0.70 SD lower (p < 0.01), cortical thicknesswas 0.51 SD lower (p = 0.04), and cortical porosity was 0.70 SD higher (p < 0.01). Trabecular bone volume (BV/TV) was 0.77 SD lower (p < 0.01),with 0.57 SD fewer (p < 0.01) and 0.30 SD thicker trabeculae (p = 0.02). There was 0.56 SD greater trabecular separation (p = 0.01). Findings at the distal radius were similar. Contrary to each hypothesis, bonemicroarchitecture was not compromised in trans men, perhaps because aromatization of administered testosterone prevented bone loss. Trans women had deteriorated bone microarchitecture either because of deficits in microstructure before treatment or because the estradiol dosage was insufficient to offset reduced aromatizable testosterone. Prospective studies are needed to confirm these findings.
Keywords: Bone; estradiol; testosterone; HRpQCT; microarchitecture; transgender
Description: First published: 03 January 2022
Rights: © 2022 The Authors. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR). This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
DOI: 10.1002/jbmr.4497
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