Cortical and trabecular bone mineral density in transsexuals after long-term cross-sex hormonal treatment: a cross-sectional study

Ruetsche, Adrian G; Kneubuehl, Renato; Birkhaeuser, Martin H; Lippuner, Kurt (2005). Cortical and trabecular bone mineral density in transsexuals after long-term cross-sex hormonal treatment: a cross-sectional study. Osteoporosis international, 16(7), pp. 791-8. London: Springer-Verlag 10.1007/s00198-004-1754-7

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The aim of this study was to explore the effect of long-term cross-sex hormonal treatment on cortical and trabecular bone mineral density and main biochemical parameters of bone metabolism in transsexuals. Twenty-four male-to-female (M-F) transsexuals and 15 female-to-male (F-M) transsexuals treated with either an antiandrogen in combination with an estrogen or parenteral testosterone were included in this cross-sectional study. BMD was measured by DXA at distal tibial diaphysis (TDIA) and epiphysis (TEPI), lumbar spine (LS), total hip (HIP) and subregions, and whole body (WB) and Z-scores determined for both the genetic and the phenotypic gender. Biochemical parameters of bone turnover, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and sex hormone levels were measured in all patients. M-F transsexuals were significantly older, taller and heavier than F-M transsexuals. They were treated by cross-sex hormones during a median of 12.5 years before inclusion. As compared with female age-matched controls, they showed a significantly higher median Z-score at TDIA and WB (1.7+/-1.0 and 1.8+/-1.1, P < 0.01) only. Based on the WHO definition, five (who did not comply with cross-sex hormone therapy) had osteoporosis. F-M transsexuals were treated by cross-sex hormones during a median of 7.6 years. They had significantly higher median Z-scores at TEPI, TDIA and WB compared with female age-matched controls (+0.9+/-0.2 SD, +1.0+/-0.4 SD and +1.4+/-0.3 SD, respectively, P < 0.0001 for all) and reached normal male levels except at TEPI. They had significantly higher testosterone and IGF-1 levels (p < 0.001) than M-F transsexuals. We conclude that in M-F transsexuals, BMD is preserved over a median of 12.5 years under antiandrogen and estrogen combination therapy, while in F-M transsexuals BMD is preserved or, at sites rich in cortical bone, is increased to normal male levels under a median of 7.6 years of androgen treatment in this cross sectional study. IGF-1 could play a role in the mediation of the effect of androgens on bone in F-M transsexuals.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Orthopaedic, Plastic and Hand Surgery (DOPH) > Clinic of Osteoporosis

UniBE Contributor:

Lippuner, Kurt

ISSN:

0937-941X

Publisher:

Springer-Verlag

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:24

Last Modified:

22 Oct 2019 21:32

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s00198-004-1754-7

PubMed ID:

15502960

Web of Science ID:

000230175800011

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.37851

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/37851 (FactScience: 212038)

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