Thoracic vertebral fractures and hyperkyphosis in elderly patients with end-stage kidney disease; do these patients have different clinical outcomes?

Goto, N.A., Koelé, M.C., van Loon, I.N., Boereboom, F.T.J., Verhaar, M.C., Emmelot-Vonk, M.H., Hamaker, M.E. & Willems, H.C.

Published: 01/10/2019


Background and objectives
Elderly patients with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) are at high risk for fractures. However, the prevalence of vertebral fractures and hyperkyphosis is not studied well. This is relevant, because in the general population, both vertebral fractures and hyperkyphosis are associated with poor outcome. Therefore, the primary aim of our study was to assess the prevalence of vertebral fractures and hyperkyphosis in the ESKD population. The secondary aim was to assess if patients with vertebral fractures and/or hyperkyphosis more often have poor outcome after starting dialysis, such as accidental falling, functional decline and mortality compared to the patients without vertebral fractures and/or hyperkyphosis.

Design, setting, participants & measurements
This study included patients ≥65 years with ESKD who were enrolled in the Geriatric assessment in Older patients starting Dialysis (GOLD) study of whom a lateral chest radiograph was available. Chest radiographs were scored independently by two observers for vertebral fractures (Genant ≥1) and hyperkyphosis (≥50 degrees). The relation between vertebral fractures and hyperkyphosis with clinical outcomes (falls, decline in ADL and IADL, mortality) was studied using the Chi-square test.

Of the 196 enrolled patients, chest radiographs were available for 160 patients. Mean age was 75.3 (SD ±6.9), and 35% were female. The prevalence of vertebral fractures was 43% and of hyperkyphosis 22%. Patients with hyperkyphosis had a higher one-year mortality compared to patients without hyperkyphosis (20% vs. 8%, p = 0.04). No differences were observed between patients with and without hyperkyphosis, vertebral fractures and the remaining outcomes after six months of follow-up.

In patients ≥65 years old with ESKD starting dialysis, vertebral fractures are highly prevalent. In contrast to the general population, patients with vertebral fractures did experience poor outcome as often as patients without vertebral fractures. Remarkably, patients with hyperkyphosis did have a higher one-year mortality. However, these patients did not experience more functional decline or accidental falls.

Full Access Link: Bone