• parathyroid hormone;
  • cortical bone;
  • osteoporosis;
  • moment of inertia;
  • peripheral quantitative computed tomography


Treatment with teriparatide (rDNA origin) injection {teriparatide, recombinant human parathyroid hormone (1–34) [rhPTH(1–34)]}reduces the risk of vertebral and nonvertebral fragility fractures and increases cancellous bone mineral density in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, but its effects on cortical bone are less well established. This cross-sectional study assessed parameters of cortical bone quality by peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) in the nondominant distal radius of 101 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis who were randomly allocated to once-daily, self-administered subcutaneous injections of placebo (n = 35) or teriparatide 20 μg (n = 38) or 40 μg (n = 28). We obtained measurements of moments of inertia, bone circumferences, bone mineral content, and bone area after a median of 18 months of treatment. The results were adjusted for age, height, and weight. Compared with placebo, patients treated with teriparatide 40 μg had significantly higher total bone mineral content, total and cortical bone areas, periosteal and endocortical circumferences, and axial and polar cross-sectional moments of inertia. Total bone mineral content, total and cortical bone areas, periosteal circumference, and polar cross-sectional moment of inertia were also significantly higher in the patients treated with teriparatide 20 μg compared with placebo. There were no differences in total bone mineral density, cortical thickness, cortical bone mineral density, or cortical bone mineral content among groups. In summary, once-daily administration of teriparatide induced beneficial changes in the structural architecture of the distal radial diaphysis consistent with increased mechanical strength without adverse effects on total bone mineral density or cortical bone mineral content.