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Assessing the Effects of Teriparatide Treatment on Bone Mineral Density, Bone Microarchitecture, and Bone Strength

The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (American)
Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery
DOI: 10.1016/s0021-9355(14)74223-7
  • Medicine


Background To gain insight into how teriparatide affects various bone health parameters, we assessed the effects of teriparatide treatment with use of standard DXA (dual x-ray absorptiometry) technology and two newer technologies, high-resolution MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and finite element analysis of quantitative CT (computed tomography) scans. Methods In this phase-4, open-label study, postmenopausal women with severe osteoporosis received 20μg/day of teriparatide. Assessments included (1) changes in areal BMD (bone mineral density) (in g/cm2) at the radius, spine, and hip on DXA, (2) changes in volumetric BMD (in mg/cm3) at the spine and hip on quantitative CT scans, (3) changes in bone microarchitecture at the radius on high-resolution MRI, (4) estimated changes in spine and hip strength according to finite element analysis of quantitative CT scans, (5) changes in bone turnover markers in serum, and (6) safety. Results Thirty-five subjects were enrolled; thirty completed eighteen months and twenty-five completed an optional six-month extension. No significant changes were observed for the primary outcome, high-resolution MRI at the distal aspect of the radius. At month eighteen, the least-squares mean percentage change from baseline in total volumetric BMD at the spine was 10.05% (95% confidence interval [CI], 6.83% to 13.26%; p<0.001), and estimated spine strength increased 17.43% (95% CI, 12.09% to 22.76%; p<0.001). Total volumetric BMD at the hip increased 2.22% (95% CI, 0.37% to 4.06%; p=0.021), and estimated hip strength increased 2.54% (95% CI, 0.06% to 5.01%; p=0.045). Areal BMD increased at the lumbar spine and femoral neck, was unchanged for the total hip and at the distalmost aspect of the radius, and decreased at a point one-third of the distance between the wrist and elbow. Bone turnover markers increased at months three, six, and twenty-four (all p<0.05). No unexpected adverse events were observed. Conclusions High-resolution MRI failed to identify changes in bone microarchitecture at the distal aspect of the radius, a non-weight-bearing site that may not be suitable for assessing effects of an osteoanabolic agent. Teriparatide increased areal BMD at the spine and femoral neck and volumetric BMD at the spine and hip. Estimated vertebral and femoral strength also increased. These findings and increases in bone turnover markers through month twenty-four are consistent with the known osteoanabolic effect of teriparatide. Level of Evidence Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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