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Calcif Tissue Int. 2001 Nov;69(5):259-62.

Dual X-ray absorptiometry and bone ultrasonography in patients with Rett syndrome.

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Institute of Internal Medicine, University of Siena, Policlinico Le Scotte, Italy


This study evaluated bone status and bone turnover in 82 females (ages 2-21 years) with the Rett Syndrome (RS) and 82 age-matched controls. Bone mineral density (BMD) by dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) at the ultradistal and proximal radius and ultrasonographic (QUS) parameters at the calcaneus [speed of sound(SOS), broadband ultrasound attenuation(BUA), and stiffness] and at the phalanxes (amplitude dependent speed of sound: AD-SOS) were measured. We also measured serum calcium, phosphate, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, and biochemical markers of bone turnover. DXA and QUS parameters were significantly lower in patients with RS compared with controls and, among RS alone, in those treated with anticonvulsants and in those who are nonambulatory. Ambulatory RS patients showed QUS and DXA parameters significantly greater than nonambulatory patients but significantly lower than controls. Patients with RS treated with anticonvulsants presented QUS and DXA parameters lower than those of other RS. In RS patients, walking significantly influences BMD-UD, BMD-P, SOS. BUA. and Stiffness. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D was significantly lower in RS than in controls. These results suggest that ambulatory status, to a major extent, and anticonvulsant therapy certainly play an important role in the reduction of bone mass and bone quality, but they cannot completely explain the altered bone status. Whatever the cause, girls with RS present abnormal bone status with an increase in the risk of fracture.

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