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Clin Transplant. 2011 May-Jun;25(3):426-35. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-0012.2010.01263.x. Epub 2010 May 6.

Osteoporosis in lung transplant candidates compared to matched healthy controls.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.



Advanced lung disease increases the risk for diminished bone mineral density (BMD). The prevalence and severity of osteoporosis in lung transplant candidates is unclear.


We retrospectively evaluated BMD of subjects screened for lung transplant at our institution. Observed prevalence of osteoporosis and osteopenia within our cohort was compared to the expected prevalence of each from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) data matched for age, gender, and race. Lateral chest radiographs were evaluated for vertebral fractures.


  High prevalence rates of osteoporosis (37%) and combined osteoporosis/osteopenia (86%) were observed. Subjects with pulmonary fibrosis had higher BMD and T-scores compared to all other subgroups. All subjects within the cohort had a higher observed combined rate of osteoporosis/osteopenia at all bone sites compared to expected rates from healthy, matched controls. Vertebral fractures were present in 23% of subjects but did not correlate with BMD or the diagnosis of osteoporosis.


Abnormal BMD was prevalent in most pre-lung transplant subjects, with striking differences noted in comparison with a healthy, matched cohort. Lateral chest radiographs in combination with BMD data give a more complete picture of bone abnormalities. Osteoporosis screening prior to lung transplantation should be performed to identify high-risk subjects for fracture and allow for intervention.

© 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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