, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 70-78

Bone disease in pediatric rheumatologic disorders

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Children with rheumatic disorders have multiple risk factors for impaired bone health, including delayed growth and development, malnutrition, decreased weight-bearing activity, inflammation, and glucocorticoid therapy. The impact of rheumatic disease during childhood may be immediate, resulting in fragility fractures, or delayed, because of suboptimal peak bone mass accrual. Recent years have seen increased interest in the effects of pediatric rheumatic disorders on bone mineralization, such as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and juvenile dermatomyositis. This review outlines the expected gains in bone size and mass during childhood and adolescence, and summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of available technologies for the assessment of skeletal growth and fragility in children. The varied threats to bone health in pediatric rheumatic disorders are reviewed, with emphasis on recent insights into the molecular mechanisms of inflammation-induced bone resorption. The literature assessing bone deficits and risk factors for impaired bone health in pediatric rheumatic disorders is reviewed, with consideration of the strengths and limitations of prior studies. Finally, future research directions are proposed.