A metaanalysis on the use of bisphosphonates in corticosteroid induced osteoporosis.
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OBJECTIVE: To conduct a metaanalysis on the use of bisphosphonates in corticosteroid induced osteoporosis. METHODS: A Cochrane systematic review including electronic database searching (MEDLINE and EMBASE), and selected hand searching of reference lists and scientific abstracts was conducted. Metaanalysis using random and fixed effects modeling was used on the selected trials to calculate summary effect measures. All controlled clinical trials dealing with prevention or treatment of corticosteroid induced osteoporosis with bisphosphonates of any type and reporting the outcome of interest were assessed. Trials had to involve adults only, and subjects had to be taking a mean steroid dose of 7.5 mg/day or more. Outcomes of interest were change in bone mineral density (BMD) at the lumbar spine and femoral neck at 6 and 12 months. If present, data on number of new fractures and adverse effects were also extracted. The extraction was performed by 2 independent reviewers. RESULTS: Results are reported as a weighted mean difference in the percentage change in BMD between the treatment and placebo groups, with trials being weighted by the inverse of their variance. At the lumbar spine the weighted mean difference between the treatment and placebo groups was 4.0% (95% CI 2.5, 5.5). At the femoral neck the weighted mean difference was 2.1% (95% CI 0.2, 4.0). Although there was a 24% reduction in spinal fractures, this result did not reach statistical significance. CONCLUSION: Bisphosphonates are effective at preventing and treating corticosteroid induced bone loss at the lumbar spine. Efficacy regarding fracture prevention cannot be concluded from this analysis, although bone density changes are correlated with fracture risk. Bisphosphonates are less efficacious at preventing or treating corticosteroid induced osteoporosis at the femoral neck.
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