, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp 481-485

Comparison of Serum and Urine Assays for Biochemical Markers of Bone Resorption in Postmenopausal Women with and without Hormone Replacement Therapy and in Men

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Biochemical markers of bone resorption have been used to characterize metabolic bone disease and assess therapeutic response. Most studies have used the urinary measurement of collagen crosslinks, but serum assays have recently been developed that may have less analytic and biologic variability. In the present study, we measured urine and serum N- and C-terminal crosslinked telopeptides of type I collagen (NTX and CTX) and serum bone sialoprotein (BSP) in postmenopausal women with or without hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and in men of similar age. In these populations, the variability of serum and urine markers was similar, except that serum NTX showed somewhat lower variability in postmenopausal women. Urine and serum assays correlated well with one another and were significantly lower in postmenopausal women on HRT compared with untreated women. The difference in women on HRT was similar for sNTX, uNTX and BSP (35–40%) and greater for sCTX and uCTX (52–53%). There was an inverse correlation between markers and bone mineral density, largely attributable to the high correlation in women not on HRT. Fractional excretion of NTX and CTX were estimated at 0.20 ± 0.07 and 0.44 ± 0.11, respectively. These values were independent of the concentration of the marker or of creatinine in the urine. We conclude that serum markers are useful measures of bone resorption in these populations, in whom the use of such markers is likely to be helpful in the management of osteoporosis.

Received: 23 August 1999 / Accepted: 30 November 1999