Bone Mass, Bone Formation Reduced in Quiescent Crohn's

Trabecular thinning characterizes reduction in bone mass in Crohn's disease patients

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Bone analysis reveals a reduction in bone mass characterized by trabecular thinning and bone loss caused by reduced bone formation in patients with quiescent Crohn's disease (CD), according to a study published in the January issue of Gastroenterology.

Angela E. Oostlander, of the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues examined transiliac bone biopsy samples from 23 patients with quiescent CD. To better understand the pathogenesis of the bone loss known to occur in patients with CD, they compared results from histomorphometric analysis with data from age- and sex-matched healthy controls.

Trabecular bone volume was found to be significantly reduced in patients with CD, and the low bone volume was characterized by decreased trabecular thickness (120.61 versus 151.42 µm). Bone formation and resorption were reduced. Osteocyte density and apoptosis were found to be normal, whereas the percentage of empty lacunae in patients with CD was found to be higher than that of published values in controls.

"In conclusion, in this study, for the first time a cohort of adult patients with quiescent CD was evaluated using bone histomorphometry. In these patients, bone mass is reduced as characterized by trabecular thinning. Furthermore, our results show that CD-associated bone loss is caused by a reduced bone formation at the tissue level, possibly as a consequence of decreased osteocyte viability in the past," the authors write.

The study was performed on behalf of the Dutch Initiative on Crohn and Colitis, and the initiative's foundation received funding from Sanofi-Aventis.

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