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Osteogenesis imperfecta in children and adolescents-new developments in diagnosis and treatment.

Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is the most prevalent heritable bone fragility disorder in children. It has been known for three decades that the majority of individuals with OI have mutations in COL1A1 or COL1A2, the two genes coding for collagen type I alpha chains, but in the past 10 years defects in at least 17 other genes have been linked to OI. Almost all individuals with a typical OI phenotype have a mutation in one of the currently known genes. Regarding medical treatment, intravenous bisphosphonate therapy is the most widely used medical approach. This has a marked effect on vertebra in growing children and can lead to vertebral reshaping after compression fractures, but there is little effect of bisphosphonate therapy on the development of scoliosis. Bisphosphonate treatment decreases long-bone fracture rates, but such fractures are still frequent. Newer medications with anti-resorptive and bone anabolic action are being investigated in an attempt to improve on the efficacy of bisphosphonates but the safety and efficacy of these new approaches in children with OI is not yet established.

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