Summary: The study aimed to quantify the long-term effects of stroke on tibial bone morphology and hip bone density. Only the trabecular bone mineral density and bone strength index in the hemiparetic tibial distal epiphysis showed a significant decline among individuals who had sustained a stroke 12–24 months ago. Introduction: This study aims to determine the changes in bone density and morphology in lower limb long bones during a 1-year follow-up period and their relationship to muscle function in chronic stroke patients. Methods: Twenty-eight chronic stroke patients (12–166 months after the acute stroke event at initial assessment) and 27 controls underwent bilateral scanning of the hip and tibia using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and peripheral quantitative computed tomography, respectively. Each subject was re-assessed 1 year after the initial assessment. Results: Twenty stroke cases and 23 controls completed all assessments. At the end of the follow-up, the paretic tibial distal epiphysis suffered significant decline in trabecular bone density (−1.8 ± 0.6 %, p = 0.006) and bone strength index (−2.7 ± 0.6 %, p < 0.001). More severe decline in the former was associated with poorer leg muscle strength (ρ = 0.447, p = 0.048) and motor recovery (ρ = 0.489, p = 0.029) measured at initial assessment. The loss in trabecular bone density remained significant among those whose stroke onset was 12–24 months ago (p < 0.001), but not among those whose stroke onset was beyond 24 months ago (p > 0.05) at the time of initial assessment. The changes of outcomes in the tibial diaphysis, except for cortical bone mineral content on the non-paretic side (−1.3 ± 0.3 %, p = 0.003), and hip bone density were well within the margin of error for precision. Conclusions: There is evidence of continuous trabecular bone loss in the paretic tibial distal epiphysis among chronic stroke patients, but it tends to plateau after 2 years of stroke onset. The steady state may have been reached earlier in the hip and tibial diaphysis.
- Cerebrovascular accident
- Computed tomography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism