What is the treatment for bone mineral density (BMD) loss in cystic fibrosis (CF)?

Updated: Sep 28, 2020
  • Author: Girish D Sharma, MD, FCCP, FAAP; Chief Editor: Kenan Haver, MD  more...
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Bisphosphonate treatment initiated during childhood may help counter the bone mineral density (BMD) loss seen in patients with CF, according to the results of a 2013 prospective, open-label observational study of the effects of calcium and vitamin D on BMD in 171 young CF patients, which was followed by a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of the bisphosphonate alendronate. [80, 81]

In the first part of the study, calcium and vitamin D intake were monitored; patients whose BMD had not improved more than 5% within 1 year (75%) joined the second part of the study, in which 128 patients were randomly assigned to treatment with either daily oral alendronate or placebo for 1 year. [81] Among the 65 patients who received alendronate, BMD increased by 16.3%, compared with 3.1% among the 63 patients who received placebo. Among the treated patients, approximately one third attained a BMD that was normal for their ages.

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