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J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2012 Dec;70(12):2768-75. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2011.12.028. Epub 2012 Feb 11.

Serum N-telopeptide and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase levels in patients with osteonecrosis of the jaw receiving bisphosphonates for bone metastases.

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Breast Cancer Medicine Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA.



Oversuppression of bone turnover can be a critical factor in the pathogenesis of osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ). We investigated N-telopeptide of type I collagen (NTX) and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP) as potential predictors of ONJ onset.


Patients with ONJ and available stored serum were identified retrospectively from the institutional databases. Four approximate points were examined: point of ONJ diagnosis and 12, 6, and 1 month before the diagnosis. NTX and BAP were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and examined as possible predictors of ONJ.


From March 1998 to September 2009, we identified 122 patients with ONJ. Of these, 56 (46%) had one or more serum samples available. Overall, 55 patients (98%) received bisphosphonates. Using the exact dates, no obvious patterns in either NTX or BAP were noted. Similarly, using the ordinal points, no evidence of suppression of NTX or BAP over time was seen. The consecutive median values were as follows: The median NTX values were 8.0 nmol/L (range 3.8 to 32.9) at 12 months before ONJ; 9.5 nmol/L (range 4.7 to 42.7) at 6 months; 9.5 nmol/L (range 4.5 to 24.6) at 1 month, and 10.4 nmol/L (range 4.4 to 32.5) at the ONJ diagnosis. The median BAP values were BAP 18.0 U/L (range 7.0 to 74) at 12 months before ONJ; 18.0 U/L (range 4.0 to 134) at 6 months; 14.0 U/L (range 4.0 to 132) at 1 month, and 18.0 U/L (range 0.7 to 375) at the ONJ diagnosis. Only 2 patients (4%) had NTX and 17 (30%) had BAP below the normal range at the ONJ diagnosis.


In the present large retrospective study, no trends were seen in the NTX and BAP levels before the ONJ diagnosis.

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