, Volume 56, Issue 6, pp 533-535

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

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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.