Bone fragility and collagen cross-links

Eleftherios P. Paschalis, Elizabeth Shane, George Lyritis, Grigoris Skarantavos, Richard Mendelsohn, Adele L. Boskey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

231 Scopus citations


Infrared imaging analysis of iliac crest biopsy specimens from patients with osteoporotic and multiple spontaneous fractures shows significant differences in the spatial variation of the nonreducible: reducible collagen cross-links at bone-forming trabecular surfaces compared with normal bone. Introduction: Although the role of BMC and bone mineral quality in determining fracture risk has been extensively studied, considerably less attention has been paid to the quality of collagen in fragile bone. Materials and Methods: In this study, the technique of Fourier transform infrared imaging (FTIRI) was used to determine the ratio of nonreducible:reducible cross-links, in 2- to 4-μm-thick sections, from human iliac crest biopsy specimens (N = 27) at bone-forming trabecular surfaces. The biopsy specimens were obtained from patients that had been diagnosed as high- or low-turnover osteoporosis, as well as premenopausal women <40 years of age, with normal BMD and biochemistry, who suffered multiple spontaneous fractures. The obtained values were compared with previously published analyses of trabecular bone from normal non-osteoporotic subjects (N = 14, 6 males and 8 females; age range, 51-70 years). Results and Conclusions: Collagen cross-links distribution within the first 50 μm at forming trabecular surfaces in patients with fragile bone was markedly different compared with normal bone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2000-2004
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


  • Bone formation
  • Bone fragility
  • Collagen cross-links
  • Infrared imaging
  • Osteoporosis


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