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Gynecol Endocrinol. 1987 Jun;1(2):169-75.

Bone turnover in postmenopausal women after withdrawal of estrogen/gestagen replacement therapy.

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Department of Clinical Chemistry, University of Copenhagen, Glostrup Hospital, Denmark.


Bone turnover before and after withdrawal of estrogen/gestagen treatment was studied in a randomized trial with 110 healthy female volunteers, who had passed a natural menopause 6 months to 3 years before the start of the study. Urinary excretion of intravenously injected 99m-technetium diphosphonate was measured as an index of bone turnover; plasma bone Gla protein and serum alkaline phosphatase were measured as indices of bone formation; and fasting urinary excretion of hydroxyproline and calcium were measured as estimates of bone resorption. During 2 years of hormone treatment, all variables decreased highly significantly (p less than 0.001) to a constant low level. Three months after withdrawal all variables increased highly significantly (p less than 0.001) towards, but not above, pretreatment and placebo levels. We conclude that withdrawal of estrogen/gestagen replacement therapy in postmenopausal women increases bone turnover, but not in excess of pretreatment values. This indicates that bone loss (after withdrawal) is similar to that seen in the placebo group and that a rebound phenomenon is unlikely.

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