Osteoporosis International

, Volume 29, Issue 7, pp 1617–1626 | Cite as

Clinical and laboratory features of patients with osteomalacia initially presenting with neurological manifestations

  • S. W. Kim
  • N. Hong
  • Y. Rhee
  • Y.-C. Choi
  • H. Y. Shin
  • S. M. Kim
Original Article



Patients with osteomalacia often visit the neurology department with conditions mimicking other myopathies. We analyzed clinical features of osteomalacia patients who visited the neurology department. These patients frequently presented with hypocalcemia, hypovitaminosis D, and pain with less severe weakness. Osteomalacia should be considered when patients present with pain and weakness.


Osteomalacia is a disease of bone metabolism; however, some patients with osteomalacia initially visit the neurology department. As these patients often complain of weakness and gait disturbance, osteomalacia can be confused with other myopathies. We analyzed the clinical features of patients with osteomalacia who visited the neurology department.


We retrospectively reviewed the medical records. Osteomalacia was diagnosed based on symptoms, laboratory features, and imaging results. We compared the characteristics of patients with osteomalacia who visited the neurology department with (1) those who did not visit the neurology department and (2) patients with idiopathic inflammatory myopathy.


Eighteen patients with osteomalacia visited the neurology department (NR group). The common etiologies in the NR group included tumors or antiepileptic medication, whereas antiviral medication was the most common in patients who did not visit the neurology department (non-NR group). The NR group showed lower serum calcium (p = 0.004) and 25-hydroxyvitamin D (p = 0.006) levels than the non-NR group. When compared with patients with inflammatory myopathy, both groups showed proximal dominant weakness. However, pain was more common in osteomalacia than in myopathy (p = 0.008), and patients with osteomalacia showed brisk deep tendon reflex more often (p = 0.017). Serum calcium (p = 0.003) and phosphate (p < 0.001) levels were lower in osteomalacia than in myopathy.


It was not uncommon for patients with osteomalacia to visit the neurology department. The clinical presentation of these patients can be more complex owing the superimposed neurological disease and accompanying hypocalcemia. Osteomalacia should be considered when patients present with pain and weakness.


Bone scan Hypocalcemia Hypophosphatemia Osteomalacia 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. W. Kim
    • 1
  • N. Hong
    • 2
  • Y. Rhee
    • 2
  • Y.-C. Choi
    • 1
  • H. Y. Shin
    • 1
  • S. M. Kim
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyYonsei University College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Internal Medicine, Severance Hospital, Endocrine Research InstituteYonsei University College of MedicineSeoulSouth Korea

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