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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Jul;90(7):3970-7. Epub 2005 Apr 19.

Early changes in biochemical markers of bone formation correlate with improvements in bone structure during teriparatide therapy.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Medical University, Auenbruggerplatz 15, A-8036 Graz, Austria. harald.dobnig@meduni-graz.at



Biochemical markers of bone turnover may reflect bone structure during anabolic treatment.


The objective was to evaluate associations between changes in biochemical markers and structural and dynamic bone parameters during teriparatide treatment.


This study was a randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled fracture prevention trial, with 20-month median treatment duration for biopsy subset.


The trial was conducted at 11 clinical study sites.


Sixty-one postmenopausal women with osteoporosis who had paired transiliac biopsy specimens participated in the study.


Once-daily sc injections of either placebo or teriparatide (20 or 40 microg) were administered.


The study measured: 1) serum and urinary biochemical markers of bone formation [bone alkaline phosphatase and procollagen I C-terminal propeptide (PICP)] and resorption (N-telopeptide and deoxypyridinoline); and 2) structural and dynamic analyses of bone biopsies, including two-dimensional (2D) histomorphometry and three-dimensional (3D) micro-computed tomography evaluations measured at baseline (n = 57) and 12 (n = 21) or 22 (n = 36) months.


U-N-telopeptide/creatinine and serum-PICP correlated with bone structure and dynamic indices at baseline, respectively. Changes in bone alkaline phosphatase at 1 month correlated with changes at 22 months in 2D wall thickness (r = 0.73; P = 0.001), trabecular bone volume (trabecular bone volume per total volume, BV/TV) (r = 0.58; P < 0.05), marrow star volume (r = -0.51; P = 0.05); 3D trabecular thickness (r = 0.49; P < 0.05), and BV/TV (r = 0.54; P < 0.05). Changes in PICP at 1 month correlated with changes in wall thickness (r = 0.60; P = 0.01), and 2D BV/TV (r = 0.51; P < 0.05) at 22 months. Changes in markers at 6 or 12 months were not associated with changes in structural or dynamic parameters.


Early (1-month) changes in biochemical markers of bone formation, but not resorption, correlated with improvements in bone structure after 22 months of teriparatide therapy.

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