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Curr Opin Pediatr. 2010 Aug;22(4):494-500. doi: 10.1097/MOP.0b013e32833b0b9e.

Interpretation and application of bone turnover markers in children and adolescents.

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Institute of Sport Pedagogy and Coaching Sciences, Centre of Behavioural and Health Sciences, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.



To assess recent research findings on various biochemical bone turnover markers and to assess their use in monitoring bone growth in children and adolescents.


There are very few recent studies that investigate various serum and urine analytes that reflect bone formation and resorption to monitor bone health during longitudinal growth. In infants and young children, the measurement of bone markers in serum is suggested because of the practical difficulties associated with urine collection and by the circadian and intraindividual variation in urinary markers. During the prepubertal growth, bone turnover values are similar in age-matched boys and girls. The increase in different bone turnover markers coincides with the pubertal growth spurt. This starts later in boys and the increase in bone turnover markers also occurs later, is greater and lasts longer when compared with girls. Recent studies demonstrated that bone size increases and bone turnover decreases until mid-twenties.


More than one bone formation and resorption marker should be measured to monitor longitudinal growth and bone mineral accrual, because sensitivities and predictive values of single markers are still poor. It is important to find new and more sensitive markers that could better characterize linear growth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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