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Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2007 Jun;13(6):683-90. Epub 2007 Apr 6.

Bisphosphonate therapy for reduced bone mineral density in children with chronic graft-versus-host disease.

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Fred Hutchinson CRC, Seattle, Washington, USA.


Reduced bone mineral density (BMD) occurs frequently in children after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), but therapy for this complication is undefined. To determine the impact of bisphosphonate therapy on reduced BMD after HCT, we compared baseline and follow-up dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scans of 48 patients (controls) who received calcium and vitamin D to 18 patients who also received bisphosphonate therapy. Among the controls, median annualized increase in standardized BMD (sBMD) was 10% (range, -26% to +41%), but the deviation of sBMD from normal, as indicated by the Z-score, did not improve from baseline, -2.46 (range: -5.15 to -1.16) compared to follow-up, -2.79 (range: -5.76 to +0.07). For the bisphosphonate-treated patients, the median annualized increase in sBMD was 33% (range 3% to 147%, P = .0002) and the median Z-score improved from -3.57 (range: -5.13 to -0.86) at baseline, to -1.80 (-4.89 to +0.47) at follow-up (P = .06). The annualized median change in BMD Z-scores per year was +0.12 (-2.28 to +4.24) among the controls and +1.43 (-0.29 to +3.72) for the bisphosphonate group (P = .0002). The greatest improvement in BMD was observed in children who received therapy with bisphosphonates.

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