Bone properties in osteogenesis imperfecta: what can we learn from a bone biopsy beyond histology?

Matthias Mähr, Stéphane Blouin, Barbara M Misof, Eleftherios P Paschalis, Markus A Hartmann, Jochen Zwerina, Nadja Fratzl-Zelman
Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift 2021, 171 (5-6): 111-119
Transiliac bone biopsy samples are used to evaluate histology and bone cell activity in unclear pathological conditions. However, much additional information can be obtained from such bone samples. Using the example of osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), the current article describes how biopsy samples can be further used to study bone material characteristics including the degree of matrix mineralization, organic matrix properties, mineral particle size and bone nanoporosity. OI is a heritable collagen-related disorder that is phenotypically and genetically extremely heterogeneous. One essential finding was that OI bone is hypermineralized independently of clinical severity. Moreover, mineral particles in OI bone are of normal size or even smaller, but more densely packed than normally. Another recent finding was that in some forms of OI, collagen orientation is highly disorganized, indicating that the collagen-mineral particle network is profoundly altered in OI. These findings have contributed to the understanding of impaired bone strength in OI.

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