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Am J Kidney Dis. 2014 Jun;63(6):1049-59. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2013.12.016. Epub 2014 Mar 13.

Fragility fractures and osteoporosis in CKD: pathophysiology and diagnostic methods.

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Sheffield Kidney Institute, Northern General Hospital, Sheffield, United Kingdom. Electronic address:
Academic Unit of Bone Metabolism, Metabolic Bone Centre, Northern General Hospital, Sheffield, United Kingdom.
Sheffield Kidney Institute, Northern General Hospital, Sheffield, United Kingdom.


Both chronic kidney disease (CKD) and osteoporosis are major public health problems associated with an aging population. Osteoporosis is characterized by reduced bone mineral density, while CKD results in qualitative changes in bone structure; both conditions increase the predisposition to fragility fractures. There is a significant coprevalence of osteoporotic fractures and CKD, particularly in the elderly population. Not only is the risk of fracture higher in the CKD population, but clinical outcomes are significantly worse, with substantial health care costs. Management of osteoporosis in the CKD population is particularly complex given the impact of renal osteodystrophy on bone quality and the limited safety and hard outcome data for current therapy in patients with severe CKD or on dialysis therapy. In this review, we discuss the pathophysiology of osteoporosis, the impact of CKD on bone strength, and the role of novel imaging techniques and biomarkers in predicting underlying renal osteodystrophy on bone histomorphometry in the context of CKD.


Chronic kidney disease; biomarkers; bone mineral density; dialysis; fractures; histomorphometry; imaging; osteoporosis; renal osteodystrophy

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