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Dev Med Child Neurol. 2012 Feb;54(2):106-16. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2011.04091.x. Epub 2011 Nov 24.

Informing evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for children with cerebral palsy at risk of osteoporosis: a systematic review.

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Department of Paediatrics, Bloorview Research Institute, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.



The aim of this systematic review was to inform evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for children with cerebral palsy (CP) and low bone mineral density (BMD).


A computer-assisted literature search was focused on low BMD in children with CP, and was limited to the following interventions: weight-bearing activities, bisphosphonate use, and vitamin D or calcium supplementation. Articles were classified according to American Academy of Neurology guidelines and recommendation classifications were given based on the evidence for the intervention increasing BMD and decreasing fragility fractures. Studies were included if they were English-language full-text studies, focused on children with CP, and included at least 10 participants receiving the studied interventions.


Twenty-one articles underwent full-text review and data abstraction, including seven studies of weight-bearing activities, five studies of vitamin D or calcium supplementation, and nine studies of bisphosphonates administration. Overall, the evidence that bisphosphonates administration increases BMD was assessed as level B (probable) while the evidence that vitamin D or calcium supplementation does so was assessed as level C (possible); there was insufficient evidence to suggest that weight-bearing activities are an effective intervention to improve BMD. The evidence that bisphosphonates help to prevent fragility fractures was assessed as level C (possible); there was inadequate evidence to support the use of weight-bearing activities or vitamin D or calcium supplementation to decrease fragility fractures.


Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines were created outlining the suggested role of weight-bearing activities, vitamin D and calcium supplementation, and bisphosphonate use for children with CP with low BMD at risk of fragility fractures.

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