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Abstract

Fracturing after liver transplantation (OLT) occurs due to the combination of preexisting low bone mineral density (BMD) and early posttransplant bone loss, the risk factors for which are poorly defined. The prevalence and predictive factors for hepatic osteopenia and osteoporosis, posttransplant bone loss, and subsequent bone gain were studied by the long-term posttransplant follow-up of 360 consecutive adult patients with end-stage primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). Only 20% of patients with advanced PBC or PSC have normal bone mass. Risk factors for low spinal BMD are low body mass index, older age, postmenopausal status, muscle wasting, high alkaline phosphatase and low serum albumin. A high rate of spinal bone loss occurred in the first 4 posttransplant months (annual rate of 16%) especially in those with younger age, PSC, higher pretransplant bone density, no inflammatory bowel disease, shorter duration of liver disease, current smoking, and ongoing cholestasis at 4 months. Factors favoring spinal bone gain from 4 to 24 months after transplantation were lower baseline and/or 4-month bone density, premenopausal status, lower cumulative glucocorticoids, no ongoing cholestasis, and higher levels of vitamin D and parathyroid hormone. Bone mass therefore improves most in patients with lowest pretransplant BMD who undergo successful transplantation with normal hepatic function and improved gonadal and nutritional status. Patients transplanted most recently have improved bone mass before OLT, and although bone loss still occurs early after OLT, these patients also have a greater recovery in BMD over the years following OLT. Liver Transpl 12:1390–1402, 2006. © 2006 AASLD.