The treatment of osteoporosis in patients with rheumatoid arthritis receiving glucocorticoids: a comparison of alendronate and intranasal salmon calcitonin
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- Tascioglu, F., Colak, O., Armagan, O. et al. Rheumatol Int (2005) 26: 21. doi:10.1007/s00296-004-0496-3
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The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of alendronate and intranasal salmon calcitonin (sCT) treatments on bone mineral density and bone turnover in postmenopausal osteoporotic women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) receiving low-dose glucocorticoids.
Fifty osteoporotic postmenopausal women with RA, who had been treated with low-dose corticosteroids for at least 6 months, were randomized to receive alendronate 10 mg/day or sCT 200 IU/day for a period of 24 months. All patients received calcium supplementation 1,000 mg and vitamin D 400 IU daily. Bone mineral density (BMD) of the lumbar spine, femoral neck, and trochanter was measured annually using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Bone metabolism measurements included urinary deoxypyridinoline (DPD), serum bone alkaline phosphatase (BAP), and serum osteocalcin (OC).
Over 2 years, the lumbar spine (4.34%, P <0.001), femoral neck (2.52%, P <0.05), and trochanteric (1.29%, P <0.05) BMD in the alendronate group increased significantly. The sCT treatment increased lumbar spine BMD (1.75%, P <0.05), whereas a significant bone loss occurred at the femoral neck at month 24 (−3.76%, P <0.01). A nonsignificant decrease in the trochanteric region was observed in the sCT group (−0.81%). The difference between the groups with respect to the femoral neck and trochanteric BMD was statistically significant ( P <0.001and P <0.05, respectively). The decreases in urinary DPD (−21.87%, P <0.001), serum BAP (−10.60%, P <0.01), and OC (−19.59%, P <0.05) values were statistically significant in the alendronate group, whereas nonsignificant decreases were observed in the sCT group (−5.77%, −1.96%, and −4.31%, respectively). A significant difference was found in the DPD and BAP levels between the two treatment groups in favor of the alendronate group at all time points ( P =0.001 and P <0.05, respectively).
The results of this study demonstrated that alendronate treatment produced significantly greater increases in the femoral neck BMD and greater decreases in bone turnover than intranasal sCT in RA patients receiving low dose glucocorticoids.