Parathyroidectomy for primary hyperparathyroidism induces positive uncoupling and increases bone mineral density in cancellous bones

Y Abe, E Ejima, K Fujiyama, T Kiriyama, A Ide, N Sera, T Tominaga, K Ashizawa, N Yokoyama, K Eguchi
Clinical Endocrinology 2000, 52 (2): 203-9

OBJECTIVE: Osteopenia is an important feature of primary hyperparathyroidism (PHP). However, little is known about the change of bone mineral density (BMD) in PHP after surgery. The aim was to investigate the mechanisms of increased BMD after parathyroidectomy in patients with PHP.

DESIGN: Prospective observational study.

PATIENTS: Ten patients with PHP (7 women, 3 men; mean age 53.2+/-9.1 years). All patients underwent parathyroidectomy for excision of parathyroid adenoma.

MEASUREMENTS: BMDs of two cancellous bone-rich sites (L2-L4 lumbar spine and ultra-distal end of the radius, RUD) and one cortical bone-rich site (distal third of the radius, R33%) were measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, before, and 3, 6 and 12 months after surgery. Serum intact PTH, intact osteocalcin, bone type alkaline phosphatase (b-ALP), alkaline phosphatase, calcium, and urinary deoxypyridinoline (Dpd) were measured before, and 1 and 3 days, and 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, and 24 weeks after surgery.

RESULTS: Parathyroidectomy resulted in a significant increase in BMDs of L2-L4 and RUD at 3 months postoperatively. Urinary Dpd levels decreased within a few days after surgery, while b-ALP and osteocalcin decreased more slowly throughout the first few months after surgery. The ratio of osteocalcin/Dpd at 1 week after surgery correlated significantly with the percentage change in BMD of L2-L4 at 3 and 6 months after surgery. The ratio of osteocalcin/Dpd at 2 weeks correlated significantly with the percentage change in BMD of L2-L4 at 3, 6 and 12 months after surgery. The preoperative values of osteocalcin, b-ALP, PTH and calcium were positively correlated with the change in BMD of RUD at 3 months and L2-L4 at 12 months, RUD at 6 months, RUD at 3 months and L2-L4 at 12 months, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: In primary hyperparathyroidism patients, the major increase in bone mineral density following parathyroidectomy occurs within 3 months. Parathyroidectomy resulted in a marked increase in bone mineral density of cancellous bones compared to that of cortical bones. The early increase in bone mineral density was due to a preferential activation of bone formation over bone resorption as evidenced by changes in bone metabolic markers. Our results also showed that the preoperative levels of bone metabolic markers may predict the gain in bone mineral density after parathyroidectomy.

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