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Br J Haematol. 2003 Nov;123(4):730-7.

Pamidronate is an effective treatment for osteoporosis in patients with beta-thalassaemia.

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Thalassaemia Centre, Laikon General Hospital, Athens, Greece.


Osteoporosis in beta-thalassaemia is multifactorial; increased osteoclast function seems to play an important role in its pathogenesis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of pamidronate on the osteoporosis of thalassaemia. To this effect we studied 26 patients who received this drug in doses of 30 or 60 mg i.v. once a month over 12 months. The effects were monitored by measuring bone mineral density (BMD) in association with markers of osteoclast function [soluble receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B ligand (sRANKL), osteoprotegerin (OPG)] and of bone remodelling [N-telopeptide of collagen type-I (NTX), tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase isoform-5b (TRACP-5b), bone-alkaline phosphatase (bALP), and osteocalcin (OC)]. Thirty healthy individuals were also studied, as controls. NTX, TRACP-5b, bALP and OC levels were significantly higher in thalassaemic patients compared with controls; in contrast, OPG levels were significantly lower, while the levels of sRANKL varied within normal limits. Administration of pamidronate was followed by a clear decrease of NTX, TRACP-5b, OPG, and OC, and by a significant increase in the BMD of the lumbar spine, which was similar in patients of both treatment groups. These data suggest that pamidronate, at a monthly dose of 30 mg, is an effective treatment for thalassaemic osteoporosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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