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Miscellaneous Complications

A prospective study of bone loss and turnover after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation: effect of calcium supplementation with or without calcitonin

Abstract

Transplantation of solid organs including heart, kidney, and liver is associated with rapid bone loss and increased rate of fracture; data on bone marrow transplantation recipients (BMT) are scarce. The purpose of the present study was to examine the magnitude, timing, and mechanism of bone loss following allogeneic BMT, and to study whether bone loss can be prevented by calcium with or without calcitonin. Sixty-nine patients undergoing allogeneic BMT for malignant blood diseases were enrolled into the study. Forty-four (22 women, 22 men) completed 6 months, and 36 patients 1 year follow-up. They were randomized to receive either no additional treatment (n = 22), or oral calcium 1 g twice daily for 12 months (n = 12) or the same dose of calcium plus intranasal calcitonin 400 IU/day for the first month and then 200 IU/day for 11 months (n = 10). Bone mineral density (BMD) at the lumbar spine and three femoral sites (femoral neck, trochanter, Ward’s triangle) was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Bone turnover rate was followed with markers of bone formation and resorption (serum bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (B-ALP), type I procollagen carboxyterminal (PICP) and aminoterminal propeptide (PINP), serum type I collagen carboxyterminal telopeptide (ICTP)). Serum testosterone was assayed in men. Calcium with or without calcitonin had no effect on bone loss or bone markers; consequently the three study groups were combined. During the first 6 post-transplant months BMD decreased by 5.7% in the lumbar spine and by 6.9% to 8.7% in the three femoral sites (P < 0.0001 for all); no significant further decline occured between 6 and 12 months. four out of 25 assessable patients experienced vertebral compression fractures. markers of bone formation reduced: b-alp by 20% at 3 weeks (P = 0.027), PICP by 40% (P < 0.0001) and pinp by 63% at 6 weeks (P < 0.0001), with a return to baseline by 6 months. the marker of bone resorption, serum ictp was above normal throughout the whole observation period, with a peak at 6 weeks (77% above baseline, P < 0.0001). in male patients serum testosterone decreased reaching a nadir (57% below baseline) at 6 weeks (P = 0.0003). In conclusion, significant bone loss occurs after BMT. It results from imbalance between reduced bone formation and increased bone resorption; hypogonadism may be a contributing factor in men. Bone loss can not be prevented by calcium with or without calcitonin.

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Correspondence to MJ Välimäki.

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Välimäki, M., Kinnunen, K., Volin, L. et al. A prospective study of bone loss and turnover after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation: effect of calcium supplementation with or without calcitonin. Bone Marrow Transplant 23, 355–361 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bmt.1701586

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Keywords

  • bone marrow transplant
  • osteoporosis
  • bone markers
  • calcium
  • calcitonin

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