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J Orthop Sci. 2003;8(4):532-7.

Effects of cyclical etidronate with alfacalcidol on lumbar bone mineral density, bone resorption, and back pain in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.

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  • 1Department of Sports Medicine, Keio University School of Medicine, 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-8582, Japan.


The purpose of the present open-labeled, randomized, prospective study was to compare the effects of cyclical etidronate combined with alfacalcidol with those of cyclical etidronate alone on lumbar bone mineral density (BMD), bone resorption, and back pain in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. Forty postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, 60-86 years of age, without any vertebral fractures in the lumbar spine, were randomly divided into two groups with 20 patients in each group. One group was treated with cyclical etidronate (oral etidronate 200 mg daily for 2 weeks every 3 months) and the other was given cyclical etidronate combined with alfacalcidol (cyclical etidronate plus alfacalcidol 1 Ig daily continuously). The BMD of the lumbar spine (L1-L4) measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, urinary crosslinked N-terminal telopeptides of type I collagen (NTX) measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and back pain evaluated by the face scale score were assessed at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months. There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics including age, body mass index, years since menopause, lumbar BMD, urinary NTX level, and face scale score between the two treatment groups. Both treatments significantly reduced the urinary NTX level and back pain. Cyclical etidronate combined with alfacalcidol significantly increased the lumbar BMD with a more significant reduction in the urinary NTX level than cyclical etidronate alone, but cyclical etidronate alone did not significantly increase the lumbar BMD. Alleviation of back pain was similar in the two groups. These results suggest that cyclical etidronate combined with alfacalcidol appears to be more useful than cyclical etidronate alone for increasing the lumbar BMD by more markedly suppressing bone resorption in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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