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Cyclic bisphosphonate therapy reduces pain and improves physical functioning in children with osteogenesis imperfecta.

BACKGROUND: Children with osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) experience pain and impaired physical functioning. The longitudinal effect of cyclic bisphosphonate treatment on these symptoms has not been described. We serially evaluated pain and functioning in pediatric patients with OI treated with intravenous bisphosphonate therapy.

METHODS: Pain and physical functioning were assessed at multiple time-points over two infusion cycles in 22 OI patients (median age 10 years [range 2-21 years]; 8 girls) receiving cyclic intravenous bisphosphonate therapy. Pain was assessed using the FACES® visual analogue scale; physical functioning, including self-care, was assessed using the PedsQL™ Generic Core inventory.

RESULTS: Pain scores decreased significantly immediately following infusion and remained reduced at 4 weeks post-infusion, increasing before and decreasing again after subsequent infusion (F = 25.00, p < 0.001). Physical functioning scaled scores improved 4 weeks after infusion and declined before subsequent infusion across patients (F = 10.87, p = 0.007). Exploratory analyses indicated significantly different effects between mild and moderate-severe OI types for pain, but not for physical functioning. No fractures occurred during the study.

CONCLUSION: In children with OI, cyclic intravenous bisphosphonate therapy transiently reduces pain and improves functional abilities. Pain relief occurs immediately following infusion with functional improvements observed 4 weeks later. Both pain and physical functioning return to pretreatment levels by the subsequent infusion.

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