Bone density loss during treatment of chronic GVHD.
Nine adult patients 31-47 (median 39) years of age treated with prednisone and cyclosporin A (CsA) for chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) were evaluated for biochemical factors associated with skeletal turnover at initiation of immunosuppressive therapy (3 months after marrow transplant) and 9 months later (follow-up). Absorptiometry studies of the wrist and lumbar spine were also performed. Serum levels of 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol (1,25(OH)2D) were decreased at enrollment, particularly in the six males. Values for all nine patients remained low at follow-up. Levels of serum 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25(OH)D), parathyroid hormone, and ionized calcium were normal at enrollment and follow-up. Mean urine hydroxyproline and calcium levels were elevated at enrollment, suggesting increased bone resorption; the mean values decreased to the high normal range at follow-up. Urine magnesium excretion was elevated in eight of nine patients at baseline and remained elevated at follow-up in three of eight evaluable patients. Single and dual photon absorptiometry of the wrist and spine, respectively, and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry of the spine, were utilized to evaluate bone mineral density over time. The precision of these tests was, respectively, +/- 3.5%, +/- 3.1% and +/- 1.0%. Results showed a significant ( > 2.5 times the precision) decrease over 9 months in bone mineral density in three of five evaluable males and all three females. The findings indicate increased collagen and bone turnover, increased urinary magnesium and calcium excretion and a significant risk of osteoporosis in patients receiving treatment for chronic GVHD. Preventive measures, including gonadal hormone replacement in females, should be initiated early after transplantation. Further studies are needed to identify patients at highest risk of bone loss and to monitor the effects of preventive therapy.
Stern, JM; Chesnut, CH; Bruemmer, B; Sullivan, KM; Lenssen, PS; Aker, SN; Sanders, J
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