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Cancer. 1997 Feb 1;79(3):545-50.

Bone fractures associated with luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonists used in the treatment of prostate carcinoma.

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Department of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.



Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonists (LHRH-a) have become an established treatment for certain patients with prostate carcinoma. LHRH-a are known to decrease bone mineral density. The purpose of this study was to determine the risk of bone fracture in men receiving LHRH-a for prostate carcinoma.


A retrospective chart review and phone interviews were conducted to determine the incidence of bone fractures occurring in patients receiving LHRH-a for the treatment of prostate carcinoma. Abstracted data included the number of monthly LHRH-a injections, age, clinical stage of disease, sites of metastases, and bone fracture history.


Twenty of the 224 patients (9%) treated with LHRH-a for prostate carcinoma between 1988 and 1995 at 3 teaching hospitals had at least 1 bone fracture during treatment with LHRH-a. The duration of treatment to the time of fracture ranged from 1 to 96 months (mean, 22.2 months). Seven fractures (32%) were osteoporotic in nature (i.e., vertebral compression fractures or hip fractures after a fall from standing), whereas 8 fractures (36%) were associated with a significant traumatic event (i.e., a motor vehicle accident, boxing, etc.) and 5 were of mixed etiology. Two of 22 fractures (9%) were pathologic.


This study demonstrated a 9% fracture incidence in a cohort of patients receiving LHRH-a for prostate carcinoma for up to 96 months. The incidence of osteoporotic fractures was 5%.

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