Treatment with Zoledronic Acid Ameliorates Negative Geometric Changes in the Proximal Femur following Acute Spinal Cord Injury
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Acute spinal cord injury is associated with rapid bone loss and an increased risk of fracture. In this double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, 17 patients were followed for 1 year after administration of either 4 or 5 mg of zoledronic acid or placebo. Bone mineral density (BMD) and structural analyses of the proximal femur were performed using the hip structural analysis program at entry, 6 months, and 12 months. The 17 subjects completed 12 months of observation, nine receiving placebo and eight zoledronic acid. The placebo group showed a decrease in BMD, cross-sectional area, and section modulus and an increase in buckling ratio at each proximal femur site at 6 and 12 months. Six months after zoledronic acid, BMD, cross-sectional area, and section modulus increased at the femoral neck and intertrochanteric regions and buckling ratio decreased consistent with improved bone stability. However, at 12 months, the femoral narrow-neck values declined to baseline. In contrast to placebo, the intertrochanteric region and femur shaft were maintained at or near baseline through 12 months in the zoledronic acid-treated group. Urine N-telopeptide excretion was increased at baseline and declined in both the placebo and treatment groups during the 12 months of observation. We conclude that a single administration of zoledronic acid will ameliorate bone loss and maintain parameters of bone strength at the three proximal femur sites for 6 months and at the femur intertrochanteric and shaft sites for 12 months.