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A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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Minerva Pediatrica 2005 October;57(5):203-12

language: Italian

Idiopathic and secondary osteoporosis in childhood

Rossi F., Perrotta S., Falcone E., Gimigliano F., Iodice M., Vetrella S., Iolascon G.


Osteoporosis is a common disease characterized by reduced bone mass, with a consequent increase in bone fragility and susceptibility to fracture risk. Bone mineral density (BMD) measurement is used to make the diagnosis of osteoporosis prior to incident fracture, and to predict fracture risk. BMD is determined by the peak bone mass achieved, and the rate and timing of subsequent bone loss. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) is the most popular and effective method utilized for osteoporosis screening. Bone disease is a side effect of concern regarding chronic glucocorticoid (GC) administration. Most GC-treated patients exhibit a process of bone loss, frequently leading to osteoporosis, with increased fracture risk, especially in spinal vertebrae. Osteogenesis imperfecta is an inherited and generalized connective tissue disorder characterized mainly by bone fragility. Idiopathic osteoporosis of childhood or adolescence without blue sclerae and other stigmata of osteogenesis imperfecta is occasionally observed and sometimes more than one sib is affected. ß-thalassemia major is associated with significant bone disease. The etiology of the bone disease is still debatable, many factors can adversely affect bone accretion in thalassemic patients. These include delayed puberty, bone marrow expansion, the deleterious effects of desferrioxamine, iron overload and genetic factors. Current treatment alternatives of osteoporosis include bisphosphonates, calcitonin, and selective estrogen receptor modulators.

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