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World J Hepatol. 2011 Jun 27;3(6):157-63. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v3.i6.157.

MELD score, insulin-like growth factor 1 and cytokines on bone density in end-stage liver disease.

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Rebecca Mitchell, Constance L Chik, Divisions of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2S2, Alberta, Canada.



To determine the contributions of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), cytokines and liver disease severity to bone mineral density in patients pre-transplantation.


Serum IGF-1, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) were measured and the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score calculated in 121 adult patients referred to a single centre for liver transplantation. Bone mineral density (BMD) of the lumbar spine and femoral neck were assessed via dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Demographics, liver disease etiology, medication use and relevant biochemistry were recorded.


A total of 117 subjects were included, with low BMD seen in 68.6%, irrespective of disease etiology. In multivariable analysis, low body mass index (BMI), increased bone turnover and low IGF-1 were independent predictors of low spinal bone density. At the hip, BMI, IGF-1 and vitamin D status were predictive. Despite prevalent elevations of TNFα and IL-6, levels did not correlate with degree of bone loss. The MELD score failed to predict low BMD in this pre-transplant population.


Osteopenia/osteoporosis is common in advanced liver disease. Low serum IGF-1 is weakly predictive but serum cytokine and MELD score fail to predict the severity of bone disease.


Bone mineral density; Cytokines; Hepatic osteodystrophy; Insulin-like growth factor-1; MELD score

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