Vertebral cross sectional size is reported to stay relatively unchanged throughout most of adulthood. However, several studies have indicated clear, age-related trends in vertebral size as in elderly age periosteal apposition results in increased size and osteoporosis reduced bone mineral density (BMD) of vertebral corpus. Observed changes in vertebral size are reported to be sex-specific as elderly males have more pronounced increase of vertebral cross sectional area (CSA). As age-related reduction of BMD occurs within both sexes it is suggested that elderly women have increased risk for vertebral fractures. In this study, we wanted to explore whether the proposed, age related trend in vertebral size, have as clear sex specific differences as suggested. To conduct this study we utilised data from two lumbar spine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) samples (n=497) with age range of 21 to 80 years. Vertebral CSA was determined measuring three width and length dimensions from the corpus of the fourth lumbar vertebra (L4). Our results indicated only moderate association between age and vertebral CSA. We couldnt detect any sex specific trend in this association. According to our observations there are no clear sex-specific compensation mechanisms for age related bone loss in vertebral size.
Disclosure: The authors declared no competing interests.