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Parathyroid Hormone May Be Beneficial in Osteoporosis

Animal study demonstrates effects on lumbar vertebrae quality and quantity

FRIDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In a rat model of osteopenia, parathyroid hormone has beneficial short-term effects on bone stability and microstructure when compared with estradiol, according to a study published in the Sept. 1 issue of Spine.

Stephan Sehmisch, M.D., of the University of Goettingen in Germany, and colleagues studied 33 ovariectomized rats that received either parathyroid hormone, estradiol, or neither (control) for five weeks.

Compared to the estradiol-treated and control rats, the researchers found that the parathyroid hormone-treated rats had significantly improved trabecular bone in both the lumbar spine and cortical framework. They also demonstrated the effectiveness of a new biomechanical compression test of intact rat lumbar vertebrae for analyzing biomechanical properties of the cortical and trabecular bone. Compression strength was significantly improved in rats treated with parathyroid hormone and rats treated with estradiol when compared with controls.

"After a short-term application, parathyroid hormone is superior to estradiol in recreating bone biomechanical properties and lumbar vertebral microstructure in advanced osteoporosis. The cortical shell and trabecular thickness are primarily responsible for the biomechanical strength of vertebrae," the authors conclude.

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