JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

The role of bone biopsy for the diagnosis of renal osteodystrophy: a short overview and future perspectives

Catarina Carvalho, Catarina Moniz Alves, João Miguel Frazão
Journal of Nephrology 2016, 29 (5): 617-26
27473148
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients present specific bone and mineral metabolism disturbances, which account for important morbidity and mortality. The term renal osteodystrophy, classically used for the nomination of CKD-associated bone disorder, has been limited to the histologic description of bone lesions, requiring the use of bone biopsy. Biochemical markers and imaging tools do not adequately predict the complex bone changes that are observed in renal osteodystrophy. Parathyroid hormone, which is a universally used biomarker of bone turnover in clinical practice, lacks specificity and sensitivity. Therefore, tetracycline double-labelled transiliac bone biopsy, with bone histology and histomorphometric evaluation, remains the best clinical tool to discriminate bone turnover and to evaluate the other dimensions of renal osteodystrophy. This review will focus on the value of classic bone histomorphometric analysis of trabecular bone in CKD patients and unfold new perspectives of this diagnostic tool, including cortical bone evaluation and bone tissue immunohistochemistry.

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