Prospective assessment of bone texture parameters at the hand in rheumatoid arthritis

Laetitia Sparsa*, Sami Kolta, Karine Briot, Simon Paternotte, Rasha Masri, Damien Loeuille, Piet Geusens, Christian Roux

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: Fractal bone analysis (Hmean) is a texture parameter reflecting bone microarchitecture. The BMA device (D3ATM Medical Systems, Orleans, France) is a high-resolution X-ray device that allows assessment of bone texture analysis. We aimed to measure Hmean in rheumatoid arthritis patients at the second and third metacarpal bones, at baseline and after 1 year of follow-up, and to assess the relationship of Hmean and rheumatoid arthritis disease parameters. Methods: Patients with rheumatoid arthritis according to ACR criteria were included. They were assessed over 1 year, in the context of a prospective study conducted in Maastricht. For this substudy, activity of the disease was assessed by erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein and Disease Activity Score 28 performed at each visit. Radiographic bone damage was assessed using hand and feet radiographs at baseline and on a 1-year basis. The bone texture parameters were evaluated on the second and third metacarpal heads of the left hand using BMA device. Results: One hundred and sixty-five rheumatoid arthritis patients were included in this study. At baseline, Hmean was negatively correlated with age [r= 0.22 (13= 0.013)] and erythrocyte sedimentation rate [r= 0.16 (13= 0.039)]. No significant correlation was found between Hmean and Disease Activity Score, disease activity Visual Analog Scale, daily corticosteroid dose and C-reactive protein. There was a significant increase in Hmean of second and third metacarpal bones over 1 year (1.6% and 1.3%, P<0.01) except in patients with local second and third metacarpal bones erosion. Conclusion: The bone texture parameter Hmean is influenced by age, inflammation and local erosions in rheumatoid arthritis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-502
JournalJoint Bone Spine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • BMA
  • Microarchitecture
  • Metacarpal bone
  • Texture analysis

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