Treatment of osteopenia and osteoporosis in renal transplant children and adolescents


Amr A. El-Husseini MD, Urology and Nephrology Center, Mansoura, Egypt


Abstract:  Successful renal transplantation corrects many of the metabolic abnormalities associated with the development of renal osteodystrophy, but despite a well-functioning graft osteopenia, growth failure, spontaneous fractures, and avascular necrosis remain prevalent in adult and pediatric kidney recipients. A paucity of information exists regarding the effects of different therapies to prevent and treat bone loss in the renal transplant recipients. We constructed a design to study the effect of different modalities of treatment on bone mass in our renal transplant children. Among 93 patients who underwent renal transplantation at the age of 17 yr or less and were subjected to dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), we blindly randomized 60 patients who had osteopenia or osteoporosis (T-score = −1 by DEXA) in a prospective study. Their mean age at time of transplantation was 13.4 ± 4.3 yr. The mean duration after transplantation was 48 ± 34 months. The patients were classified randomly into four groups. Each group consisted of 15 patients: group 1 was the control group, group 2 received oral alfacalcidol 0.25 μg daily, group 3 received oral alendronate 5 mg daily, and group 4 received 200 IU/day nasal spray calcitonin. Parameters of bone turnover, calcium metabolism, and DEXA were measured before and after 12 months of treatment duration. The characteristics of all groups were comparable at the beginning of the study. At the lumber spine, bone mass density decreased from −2.4 to −2.8 in group 1, increased from −2.3 to −0.5 in group 2, from −2.3 to −1.9 in group 3, and from −2.3 to −1.0 in group 4. The four groups had similar patient profiles, serum creatinine, intact parathyroid hormone, osteocalcin, and deoxypyridinoline. This study confirmed the value of alfacalcidol and antiresorptive agents in the treatment of osteopenia and osteoporosis in young renal transplant recipients .These therapies were safe, tolerable, simple to administer and potentially applicable to other renal transplant patients.