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Ann Lab Med. 2012 Mar;32(2):105-12. doi: 10.3343/alm.2012.32.2.105. Epub 2012 Feb 23.

Current recommendations for laboratory testing and use of bone turnover markers in management of osteoporosis.

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  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.

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  • Ann Lab Med. 2012 May;32(3):242.


Osteoporosis is a major health problem worldwide, and is projected to increase exponentially due to the aging of the population. The absolute fracture risk in individual subjects is calculated by the use of algorithms which include bone mineral density (BMD), age, gender, history of prior fracture and other risk factors. This review describes the laboratory investigations into osteoporosis which include serum calcium, phosphate, creatinine, alkaline phosphatase and 25-hydroxyvitamin D and, additionally in men, testosterone. Parathyroid hormone (PTH) is measured in patients with abnormal serum calcium to determine its cause. Other laboratory investigations such as thyroid function testing, screening for multiple myeloma, and screening for Cushing's syndrome, are performed if indicated. Measurement of bone turnover markers (BTMs) is currently not included in algorithms for fracture risk calculations due to the lack of data. However, BTMs may be useful for monitoring osteoporosis treatment. Further studies of the reference BTMs serum carboxy terminal telopeptide of collagen type I (s-CTX) and serum procollagen type I N-terminal propeptide (s-PINP) in fracture risk prediction and in monitoring various treatments for osteoporosis may help expedite their inclusion in routine clinical practice.


Bisphosphonates; Bone turnover markers; Fracture risk; Monitoring treatment; Osteoporosis

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