, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 87-93

Rapid pain relief and remission of sternocostoclavicular hyperostosis after intravenous ibandronate therapy

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Abstract

Sternocostoclavicular hyperostosis (SCCH) is an infrequent but painful, localized disturbance of bone metabolism of unknown etiology. The diagnosis of SCCH is generally one of exclusion, and it is therefore frequently missed or delayed, leaving patients with pain that frequently fails to respond to standard analgesic therapy. Consequently, SCCH leads to significantly impaired quality of life. Characteristic increased localized bone turnover and inflammatory osteitis provide a strong rationale for using intravenous bisphosphonates to treat the condition. We report on three patients with long-standing, treatment-refractory SCCH in whom intravenous ibandronate injections (a single administration of 4 mg followed by 2 mg every 3 months for up to a year) produced prompt, dramatic, persistent pain relief and resolution of the other symptoms of the disease. We also review recent evidence suggesting that SCCH is more common than generally believed and that technetium-99 bone scanning can aid in making an accurate diagnosis.