Ibandronate Prevents Bone Loss and Reduces Vertebral Fracture Risk in Male Cardiac Transplant Patients: A Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial


  • The authors state that they have no conflicts of interest

  • Published online on February 16, 2009


Bone loss and fractures are common complications after cardiac transplantation (CTP). The aim of this study was to investigate whether intravenous ibandronate is an effective preventive option. Thirty-five male cardiac transplant recipients received either ibandronate (IBN) 2 mg intravenously every 3 mo or matching placebo (CTR) in addition to 500 mg calcium carbonate and 400 IE vitamin D3. Sera were collected at CTP and every 3 mo thereafter. At baseline and 6 and 12 mo, standardized spinal X-rays and BMD measurements were taken. Bone biopsies were taken at CTP and after 6 mo from six patients. In the IBN group, 13% of the patients sustained a new morphometric vertebral fracture compared with 53% in the CTR group (absolute risk reduction [ARR], 40%; relative risk reduction [RRR], 75%; p = 0.04). BMD remained unchanged with IBN treatment but in the CTR group decreased at the lumbar spine by 25% and at the femoral neck by 23% (both p < 0.0001) over the 1-yr period. Serum bone resorption markers carboxy-terminal telopeptide region of type I collagen (sCTX) and TRACP 5b were significantly increased in the CTR group and decreased in the IBN group at all time points compared with baseline. In contrast, both osteocalcin and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase levels showed, after a similar decrease over the first 3 mo in both groups, a marked rise in the CTR subjects and steadily declining levels in the IBN patients throughout the remainder of the study period. Three paired biopsies were available from each group. Despite the small sample size, a difference in the relative change of eroded surface (68% in the CTR versus −23% in the IBN group, p < 0.05) could be shown. Intravenous IBN reduced fractures, preserved bone mass, and prevented uncoupling of bone formation and resorption after CTP. The favorable effects on bone turnover were also supported by histomorphometric findings.