Article

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: 1.71). 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: Treatment of vitamin D deficiency with vitamin D is a common procedure when taking care of elderly patients, calcium supplementation being added only when calcium dietary intake is insufficient. Here, we report the case of a 58-year-old female who was referred to our unit because of suspicion of Paget's disease of the skull, based on elevated serum alkaline phosphatase and high skull methylene diphosphonate-technetium uptake. She had been prescribed cholecalciferol (100,000 IU/month) and calcium salts for the past 7 months after discovery of severe vitamin D deficiency by her primary care physician. No specific skull bone lesions were observed on both X-ray and computerized tomography. Serum calcium, phosphate and 25(OH) vitamin D levels were normal, while serum C-terminal cross-linked telopeptide, bone alkaline phosphatase and calcitriol were high and daily urinary calcium excretion was low. We found that she had not been compliant with the calcium prescription while vitamin D had been thoroughly taken. We suspected osteomalacia due to calcium deficiency. Both skull uptake and biological abnormalities normalised in few months after adding calcium supplementation to the vitamin D treatment, and spine bone mineral density increased by 9.5 % after 14 months of full treatment. The present case illustrates the necessity for adequate calcium intake during vitamin D repletion to normalise bone mineralisation and turnover and maintain the skeletal integrity.
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