Osteoporosis following organ transplantation: Pathogenesis, diagnosis and management

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2 Scopus citations


Organ transplantation has become popular for the management of various chronic illnesses. With the advent of modern immunosuppressive treatments, the longevity of transplant recipients has increased. Consequently, morbid complications such as osteoporosis and bone fractures are seen at an increasing frequency in this population. In most transplant recipients, bone mineral density (BMD) falls shortly after transplantation. However, bone fracture rate plateaus in all except for post-renal transplant patients. Although the underlying pathophysiologic mechanism for this difference is not fully understood, potential mechanisms for sustained bone loss in renal transplant recipients may be persistent phosphorus wasting and defective bone mineralization. Current treatment regimens are based on studies in a small numbers of subjects with BMD as the primary outcome. Although BMD is recognized as a gold standard in the assessment of bone fracture risk, to date, its association with bone fracture risk in the general post-transplant population is not robust. Therefore, randomized controlled trials with bone fracture as the primary end point are crucial. The development of noninvasive bone markers in distinguishing bone turnover and bone mineralization status is also pivotal since skeletal lesions are heterogeneous in various organ transplantations. The elucidation of these underlying skeletal lesions is necessary for the consideration of selective treatment in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-176
Number of pages20
JournalExpert Review of Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011


  • bone disease
  • diagnosis
  • epidemiology
  • evaluation
  • natural history
  • pathogenesis
  • prevention
  • solid organ transplantation
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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