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Keywords:

  • HYPOPHOSPHATASEMIA;
  • GENERAL POPULATION STUDY;
  • HYPOPHOSPHATASIA;
  • BISPHOSPHONATE

ABSTRACT

A serum alkaline phosphatase value below the age-adjusted lower limits of normal (hypophosphatasemia) is uncommonly encountered in clinical practice. The electronic and paper medical records of 885,165 patients treated between 2002 and 2012 at a large, rural, multispecialty health clinic were interrogated to estimate the prevalence and characterize the clinical and radiographic findings of adults whose serum alkaline phosphatase was almost always low (persistent hypophosphatasemia). We hypothesized that some of these patients might harbor previously unrecognized hypophosphatasia, a rare, inherited condition of impaired mineralization of bones and teeth. Persistent hypophosphatasemia (serum alkaline phosphatase ≤30 IU/L) was found in 1 of 1544 adult patients. These adult patients had more crystalline arthritis, orthopedic surgery, chondrocalcinosis, calcific periarthritis, enthesopathy, and diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis than a general adult patient population. A gender effect was observed. The clinical and radiographic findings of adult patients with persistent hypophosphatasemia resemble those of the adult form of hypophosphatasia. Clinicians should take notice of persistent hypophosphatasemia, consider the diagnosis of hypophosphatasia, and be cautious when considering potent anti-remodeling therapy in these adults. This population warrants further evaluation. © 2014 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.