Osteodystrophy in chronic liver diseases

Pasquale Mansueto, Antonio Carroccio, Aurelio Seidita, Gaetana Di Fede, Antonio Craxì
Internal and Emergency Medicine 2013, 8 (5): 377-88
Osteoporosis and osteomalacia are, to date, among the most common metabolic diseases in the world. Lately, an association between metabolic bone diseases and chronic liver disease has been increasingly reported, inducing many authors to create a new nosographic entity known as 'hepatic osteodystrophy.' The importance of such a condition is further increased by the morbidity of these two diseases, which greatly reduce the quality of life because of frequent fractures, especially vertebral and femoral neck ones. For this reason, early identification of high-risk patients should be routinely performed by measuring bone mass density. The explanation for the association between bone diseases and chronic liver disease is still uncertain, and involves many factors: from hypogonadism to use of corticosteroid drugs, from genetic factors to interferon therapy. To date, few studies have been conducted, and all with a small number of patients to establish definitive conclusions about the possible treatment, but some evidence is beginning to emerge about the safety and efficacy of bisphosphonates.

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