Effects of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy on bone mineral density and marrow adipose tissue

Miriam A. Bredella, Logan B. Greenblatt, Alireza Eajazi, Martin Torriani, Elaine W. Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Bariatric surgery is associated with bone loss but skeletal consequences may differ between Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) and sleeve gastrectomy (SG), the two most commonly performed bariatric procedures. Furthermore, severe weight loss is associated with high marrow adipose tissue (MAT); however, MAT is also increased in visceral adiposity. The purpose of our study was to determine the effects of RYGB and SG on BMD and MAT. We hypothesized that both bariatric procedures would lead to a decrease in BMD and MAT. We studied 21 adults with morbid obesity (mean BMI 44.1 ± 5.1 kg/m2) prior to and 12 months after RYGB (n = 11) and SG (n = 10). All subjects underwent DXA and QCT of the lumbar spine and hip to assess aBMD and vBMD. Visceral (VAT) and subcutaneous (SAT) adipose tissue was quantified at L1–L2. MAT of the lumbar spine and femur was assessed by 1H-MR spectroscopy. Calcitropic hormones and bone turnover markers were determined. At 12 months after surgery, mean weight and abdominal fat loss was similar between the RYGB and SG groups. Mean serum calcium, 25(OH)-vitamin D, and PTH levels were unchanged after surgery and within the normal range in both groups. Bone turnover markers P1NP and CTX increased within both groups and P1NP increased to a greater extent in the RYGB group (p = 0.03). There were significant declines from baseline in spine aBMD and vBMD within the RYGB and SG groups, although the changes were not significantly different between groups (p = 0.3). Total hip and femoral neck aBMD by DXA decreased to a greater extent in the RYGB than the SG group (p < 0.04) although the change in femoral vBMD by QCT was not significantly different between groups (p > 0.2). MAT content of the lumbar spine and femoral diaphysis did not change from baseline in the RYGB group but increased after SG (p = 0.03). Within the SG group, 12-month change in weight and VAT were positively associated with 12-month change in MAT (p < 0.04), suggesting that subjects with less weight and VAT loss had higher MAT. In conclusion, RYGB and SG are associated with declines in lumbar spine BMD, however, the changes are not significantly different between the groups. RYGB may be associated with greater decline of aBMD at the total hip and femoral neck compared to SG. MAT content increased after SG and this was associated with lower weight and VAT loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-90
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Bone mineral density (BMD)
  • Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry
  • Marrow adipose tissue (MAT)
  • Proton MR spectroscopy
  • Quantitative computed tomography (QCT)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Histology


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