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Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl. 2019 Jul-Aug;30(4):853-862. doi: 10.4103/1319-2442.265461.

Bone mineral density and vitamin D status in children with remission phase of steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome.

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Department of Pediatric Nephrology, Faculty of Medicine, Eskisehir Osmangazi University, Eskisehir, Turkey.
Department of Nuclear Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Eskisehir Osmangazi University, Eskisehir, Turkey.


Children with idiopathic nephrotic syndrome are primarily treated with glucocorticoids (GCs), but long-term GC use can lead to undesired side effects. We investigated the bone mineral density (BMD) and 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH D) levels in children with the remission phase of steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome (SSNS). This study included 32 patients with SSNS who had not received GC treatment in the last 6 months and a control group of 20 healthy children. Serum levels of calcium, phosphate, alkaline phosphatase, 25-(OH)D, and parathyroid hormone (PTH) were measured. BMD was determined in the lumbar spinal region using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). Serum 25-(OH)D levels were lower in the SSNS patients than in the healthy children (P <0.05), with 22 patients (68.8%) having Z-scores <-1. The Z-scores were positively correlated with 25-(OH)D levels (r = 0.424, P <0.05). PTH levels were higher in patients with osteoporosis than in patients with Z-scores ≥-1 (P <0.05). Bone mineral content and BMD were positively correlated with the age of diagnosis (P <0.01). Receiver-operating characteristic curve analysis showed that the cutoff value of 25-(OH)D levels for predicting low BMD was 14.67 ng/mL with a sensitivity of 90% and a specificity of 64%. The area under the curve (AUC ± standard error) was 0.868 ± 0.064 (95% confidence interval: 0.742-0.994, P = 0.001). Decreased 25-(OH)D levels and the negative effects of long-term GC treatment on BMD persist in SSNS remission phase. Levels of 25-(OH)D <14.67 ng/mL could predict abnormal DEXA scans in children with SSNS remission phase.

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