Bisphosphonates in the treatment of thalassemia-associated osteoporosis
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Thalassemia major is a common cause of skeletal morbidity, as shown by the increased fracture risk in thalassemic patients. The etiology of this bone disease is multifactorial and culminates in a state of increased bone turnover with excessive bone resorption and remodeling. Despite hormonal replacement therapy, calcium and vitamin D administration, effective iron chelation, and normalization of hemoglobin levels, patients with thalassemia major continue to lose bone mass. The increased bone turnover rate observed in thalassemic patients justifies the use of powerful anti-resorption drugs, such as bisphosphonates. To date, alendronate, pamidronate, and zoledronate seem to be effective in increasing bone mineral density and normalizing bone turnover, but more trials are necessary to evaluate their efficacy in reducing fracture risks in larger thalassemic populations.
Key WordsThalassemia osteoporosis bisphosphonates
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