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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 2329-0358

Bone Mineral Density and Bone Turnover Markers Under Bisphosphonate Therapy Used in the First Year After Liver Transplantation

Ewa Nowacka-Cieciura, Anna Sadowska, Marek Pacholczyk, Andrzej Chmura, Olga Tronina, Magdalena Durlik

Department of Transplantation Medicine and Nephrology, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland

Ann Transplant 2016; 21:241-249

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.895413

Available online:

Published: 2016-04-26


BACKGROUND: Rapid bone loss occurs early after liver transplantation (Tx), concomitantly with intensified bone turnover. In the present study we investigated the effect of bisphosphonates (bisph) added to vitamin D (vitD) and calcium on bone mineral density (BMD) and bone biomarkers in liver graft recipients in the first posttransplant year.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: In 28 patients BMD was determined at the third month after Tx. In case of osteopenia (Tscore ≤–1.0) and no contraindications, oral bisph was started for 1 year (group BP, n=14); other patients served as controls (CON, n=14). The changes in BMD and biomarkers of bone formation were osteocalcin (OC), bone alkaline phosphatase (BAP), and resorption. Study endpoints were active isoform 5b of the tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRACP5b), serum pyridinoline crosslinks (PYD), and urine excretion of deoxypyridinoline (Dpd) crosslinks.
RESULTS: In 19 (68%) patients, reduced BMD (T-score ≤1.0) was observed at baseline. The changes in lumbar BMD in BP and CON groups were 5.2% and 1.5%, respectively, not reaching statistical significance.
Baseline PYD, Dpd/creat, and OC were elevated in all patients, indicating high bone turnover. We observed decrease in PYD and Dpd/creat in both groups; however, OC decreased only under bisph therapy. Increase in BAP was observed in the control group but not in the BP group. The changes in BAP and OC were significantly different (p<0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: Combining bisph with vitD and calcium is an effective bone- sparing strategy in liver transplant recipients in the first posttransplant year. Bisph more efficiently decreased the rate of bone turnover than vitD and calcium alone.

Keywords: Bone Density, Bone Density Conservation Agents, Liver Diseases, Osteoporosis, Osteoporotic Fractures, Vitamin D