Changes in bone mineral density following treatment of osteomalacia.

Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Indraparastha Apollo Hospital, Sarita Vihar, New Delhi, India.
Journal of Clinical Densitometry (Impact Factor: 1.6). 01/2006; 9(1):120-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.jocd.2005.11.001
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Osteomalacia is characterized by defective mineralization and low bone mineral density (BMD). Clinical and biochemical improvements typically occur within a few weeks of starting treatment, though the bone mineral deficits may take longer to correct. We report a case series of 26 patients with frank osteomalacia (pseudo fractures on X-rays, elevated serum total alkaline phosphatase and parathyroid hormone, normal/low serum calcium and phosphorus, and low serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D) who were followed-up for changes in BMD during treatment using dual- energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). There were 23 patients with nutritional vitamin D deficiency, 2 with malabsorption syndrome, and 1 with renal tubular acidosis. All patients were treated with vitamin D and calcium; the 3 patients with associated disorders were treated accordingly. At baseline, there was low BMD at all sites tested. The rate of increase in vertebral and hip BMD was rapid in the initial few months, which subsequently slowed down. In contrast to the large increases in BMD at the femoral neck and lumbar spine, the radial BMD did not recover. At the time when most patients had marked clinical and biochemical improvement (2.8+/-1.4 mo), the vertebral and hip BMD, although improved from baseline, had not completely recovered. Bone loss at the forearm (cortical site) appears to be largely irreversible. Although the clinical correlates of these changes are presently unclear, BMD measurements are useful in assessing the initial severity of bone loss as well as the response to therapy.

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    ABSTRACT: Osteomalacia is a generalized bone disorder characterized by impairment of mineralization, leading to accumulation of unmineralized matrix or osteoid in the skeleton. The clinical features of osteomalacia include musculoskeletal vague pain and muscle weakness. In its mild and early stages, osteomalacia may be misdiagnosed with variety of musculoskeletal diseases including osteopenia and osteoporosis, and for early diagnosis high rate of suspicion of osteomalacia is necessary. Our purpose was to determine the amount of bone mineral density (BMD) in patients with osteomalacia and to evaluate the efficiency of bone densitometry in these patients. Diagnosis of our patients was based on history, physical, laboratory and radiological findings and in three patients with bone biopsy and histological approval. BMD (gm/cm(2)) at the lumbar vertebrae (L2-L4) and femoral neck were measured by dual X-ray absorptiometry in 20 patients with osteomalacia (16 females and 4 males, age range 20 to 60 years, mean 39 years) before treatment, comparing with 28 matched healthy individuals, and their T scores were evaluated according to WHO criteria for the diagnosis of osteopenia and osteoporosis. 14 patients with osteomalacia (70%) had BMD in amount of osteoporosis in the lumbar spine, and 12 patients with osteomalacia (60%) had BMD in amount of osteoporosis in their femoral neck. 50% of the patients had T≥ -3. We concluded that bone densitometry may detect osteoporosis in up to 70% of patients with osteomalacia. Middle aged individuals with significant osteoporosis should be evaluated for osteomalacia, beside other causes of secondary osteoporosis. Measurement of BMD in patients with osteomalacia is helpful for assessment of the severity of bone condition and following management.
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