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J Endocrinol Invest. 2005 Mar;28(3):218-22.

Long-term potassium citrate therapy and bone mineral density in idiopathic calcium stone formers.

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Department of Clinical Medicine and Applied Biotechnology D. Campanacci, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.


Several authors have described an association between idiopathic calcium (Ca) stone disease and bone mass reduction. Hypocitraturia is a frequent feature of urolithiasis, and alkaline citrate has been recommended as one of the choice treatments in this disease. Some evidence exists as to the positive effect of potassium (K) citrate therapy on bone mass. The aim of this work was the longitudinal evaluation of bone mineral density (BMD) changes in a group of Ca oxalate stone formers treated with K citrate for two years. Enrolled patients were 120; 109 subjects completed the study (51 males and 58 females). A metabolic study and distal radius BMD measurements were conducted both at baseline (BAS) and at the end of the study (END). BMD (0.451 +/- 0.081 vs 0.490 +/- 0.080 g/cm2), T-score (-1.43 +/- 1.02 vs -0.90 +/- 1.04), net gastrointestinal alkali absorption (40.37 +/- 50.57 vs 61.26 +/- 42.26 mEq/day), urinary citrate (2.53 +/- 1.15 vs 3.10 +/- 1.44 mmol/day) and K (58.93 +/- 22.28 vs 65.45 +/- 23.97 mmol/day) excretion significantly increased from BAS to END. Urinary Ca excretion remained unchanged from BAS to END (5.16 +/- 2.74 vs 5.57 +/- 2.85 mmol/ day). Our results indicate that long-term treatment with K citrate increases forearm BMD in idiopathic Ca stone formers. It seems probable that the alkali load provided by this drug reduces bone resorption by a buffering of the endogenous acid production. K citrate appears to be a further therapeutic opportunity for the management of osteoporosis in Ca stone formers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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