Author(s): Aliberti G, Pulignano I, Schiappoli A, Minisola S, Romagnoli E,
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Abstract We investigated skeletal involvement in five male and two female patients with ochronosis, aged 26-82 years. The main parameters of mineral metabolism, together with biochemical markers of bone resorption (urinary N-telopeptides of type I collagen) and formation (serum bone isoenzyme of alkaline phosphatase and serum osteocalcin) were evaluated. In the same subjects lumbar spine and femoral bone mineral density (BMD) were also measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. All patients but the younger 26-year-old patient had lower than normal bone mass at femoral neck and total hip, showing marked osteopenia in three cases and osteoporosis in the remaining three cases. However, at lumbar spine BMD measurement provided spuriously overestimated results, because of intervertebral disc calcification and osteophyte formation. As far as biochemical markers of bone turnover are concerned, the most relevant finding was the increased N-telopeptides of type I collagen urinary excretion. Our results suggest that ochronosis may be associated with increased bone resorption rate leading to an accelerated bone loss. A role of the homogentisic acid polymer deposit in bone matrix and cells, possibly with osteocyte damage and interference in collagen metabolism, might be hypothesized.
This article was published in J Intern Med
and referenced in Journal of Arthritis