, Volume 56, Issue 6, pp 533-535

Calcium tracer kinetics show decreased irreversible flow to bone in glucocorticoid treated patients

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Abstract

Osteopenia resulting from pharmacologic doses of glucocorticoids is well known. Previously, there has been no satisfactory quantitative model describing the kinetics of calcium flow in subjects on chronic steroid use. A mathematical model of calcium isotope interaction with bone is described and applied to determine an estimate of kinetic parameters characterizing these changes. Calcium tracer dilution kinetics after a bolus injection of 42Ca were measured in 14 subjects with juvenile dermatomyositis, 6 on predinisone regimens and 8 on treatment regimens without prednisone. Irreversible tracer loss from plasma bone is found to be significantly reduced (P=0.043) in the glucocorticoidtreated patients compared with patients on nonsteroid regimens. Reversible flow to bone is noted to be similar in the two groups. These results suggest a direct effect of glucocorticoids on osteoblast function.