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Osteoporos Int. 2005 May;16(5):501-9. Epub 2004 Aug 11.

Serum levels of C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen: a useful new marker of cortical bone loss in hemodialysis patients.

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Shirasagi Hospital, 7-11-23 Kumata, Higashisumiyoshi-ku, 546-0002 Osaka, Japan.


Renal osteodystrophy is a major complication in hemodialysis patients. Measurement of serum peptide derived from the degradation of bone collagen could potentially provide an indirect estimate of bone resorption. The present study estimated the significance of the C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (beta-CTx) as a serum bone resorption marker in male hemodialysis patients. The mean age and hemodialysis duration of the 160 patients were 59.7 years (26-86 years) and 67.2 months (17-142 months), respectively. Bone mineral density (BMD) in the distal third of the radius was measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry twice with a 2-year interval. A blood sample was collected immediately before the hemodialysis session at the time of the second BMD measurement. Other serum bone markers determined were bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP) and intact and N-terminal midfragment (N-Mid) osteocalcin (OC) as bone-formation markers and serum pyridinoline (PYD) and deoxypyridinoline (DPD) as bone resorption markers. Serum beta-CTx correlated significantly in a positive manner with serum PYD, DPD, BAP, intact OC, and N-Mid OC. Serum beta-CTx, as well as PYD, DPD, BAP, intact OC, and N-Mid OC, correlated significantly with BMD in the distal third of the radius at the second measurement and with the rate of BMD reduction during the preceding 2 years. The highest quartile of serum beta-CTx was positively associated with rapid bone loss, defined as a change in the value for BMD in the distal third of the radius falling within the upper tertile of patients, in 55% of cases, and each quartile progress in serum beta-CTx increased the odds ratio of rapid bone loss by a factor of 1.73. Since the Youden index was twice as accurate for beta-CTx, BAP and N-Mid OC as for intact PTH, these bone-remodeling markers may be better risk markers of cortical bone loss than intact PTH. Inclusion in the highest quartile of PTH (above 288 pg/ml) predicted rapid bone loss with a sensitivity of only 26%. This means that the upper limit for serum PTH level recommended by K/DOQI may be too high, since 74% of cases with rapid bone loss showed serum PTH levels of below 288 pg/ml. In conclusion, serum measurement of beta-CTx may provide a new commercially viable and relevant serum assay to reflect cortical bone resorption in hemodialysis patients.

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