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Keywords:

  • Corticosteroids;
  • Bone metabolism;
  • Osteoporosis;
  • Vertebral fracture;
  • Immunosuppression

Post-transplantation bone disease is a frequent problem after successful cardiac transplantation. We performed a cross-sectional analysis of male heart transplant recipients in the late post-transplantation period. Nine patients (group A) had received immunosuppressive therapy with cyclosporin A and mycophenolate mofetil (steroid-free treatment), and 12 patients (group B) remained on triple-drug therapy, which included glucocorticosteroids. Bone mineral density status was analyzed by osteodensitometry and by markers of bone turnover. Osteopenia was common in both groups (44.4% in group A and 50% in group B) as was osteoporosis (30% and 33.3% in groups A and B, respectively). β-CrossLaps were significantly lower in sera of cardiac transplant recipients on double immunosuppressive (i.e., glucocorticosteroid-free) regimen than in sera of patients on triple-drug therapy (428.3, 109.4 vs 661.7, 337.0 pg/ml, P<0.05). Lower serum β-CrossLaps levels in patients undergoing glucocorticosteroid-free treatment may indicate a lower risk of bone deterioration in the long term.