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Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009 Nov;6(11):660-70. doi: 10.1038/nrgastro.2009.166.

Current understanding of osteoporosis associated with liver disease.

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  • 1Max-Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany.


Osteoporosis is a common complication of many types of liver disease. Research into the pathogenesis of osteoporosis has revealed that the mechanisms of bone loss differ between different types of liver disease. This Review summarizes our current understanding of osteoporosis associated with liver disease and the new advances that have been made in this field. The different mechanisms by which cholestatic and parenchymal liver disease can lead to reduced bone mass, the prevalence of osteopenia and osteoporosis in patients with early and advanced liver disease, and the influence of osteoporotic fractures on patient survival are discussed along with the advances in our understanding of the molecular pathways associated with bone loss. The role of the CSF1-RANKL system and that of the liver molecule, oncofetal fibronectin, a protein that has traditionally been viewed as an extracellular matrix protein are also discussed. The potential impact that these advances may have for the treatment of osteoporosis associated with liver disease is also reviewed.

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