Patients with liver cirrhosis (LC) commonly suffer from osteoporosis and vertebral fracture, but data about their vertebral micro-architectural changes are still limited. This study aimed to evaluate the potential differences in trabecular micro-architecture of lumbar vertebrae between male LC patients and healthy controls, in relation to etiology and pathohistological scoring of the liver disorder. After pathohistological examination of liver tissue, micro-computed tomography was performed on the vertebral samples included into: alcoholic liver cirrhosis group (ALC; n = 16; age: 59 ± 8 years), non-alcoholic liver cirrhosis group (non-ALC; n = 15; age: 69 ± 10 years) and control group (n = 16; age: 58 ± 6 years). Our data showed significant impairment of the trabecular microstructure in the lumbar vertebrae from LC donors, regardless of the alcoholic/non-alcoholic origin of liver disorder, as illustrated by lower BV/TV, Tb.Th, and Tb.N compared with controls (p < .05). Moreover, depredation in trabecular micro-architecture was inversely associated with pathohistological scores (p < .05), indicating that severity of liver disorder could be an important predictor of reduced vertebral strength in LC. We noticed significant micro-architectural deterioration in the trabecular compartment of the lumbar vertebrae of male individuals with alcoholic and non-alcoholic LC, which was associated with the severity of the liver disease. Thus, clinical assessment of fracture risk should be advised for all LC patients, regardless of the alcoholic origin of liver cirrhosis. Additionally, adequate and timely treatment of liver disorder may decelerate the progression of bone impairment in LC patients.
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