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Papers of the Week

2022 Dec 06

Eur J Pediatr

Osteoporosis in children and adolescents: how to treat and monitor?


Ciancia S, Högler W, Sakkers RJB, Appelman-Dijkstra NM, Boot AM, Sas TCJ, Renes JS
Eur J Pediatr. 2022 Dec 06.
PMID: 36472650.


Osteoporosis is a condition of increased bone fragility associated with fractures. Apart from primary genetic osteoporotic conditions, secondary osteoporosis in children is being increasingly recognized. As a result, there is growing interest in its prevention and treatment. Important goals of care are to prevent fractures, increase bone mass and trabecular and cortical thickness, reshape vertebral fractures, prevent (or correct) skeletal deformities, and improve mobility, independence, and quality of life. Secondary pediatric osteoporosis is often of multifactorial origin since affected children frequently have more than one acquired factor that is detrimental to bone health. Typical conditions causing osteoporosis are leukemias, progressive muscle or neurological disorders, as well as chronic inflammatory conditions and their treatment. Management of children with osteoporosis involves a multidisciplinary team involving pediatric experts from different subspecialties. With regard to prevention and early intervention, it is important to provide optimal management of any underlying systemic conditions including avoidance, or dose-reduction, of osteotoxic medications. Basic supporting life-style measures, such as appropriate nutrition, including adequate calcium intake and vitamin D, and physical activity are recommended, where possible. When pediatric treatment criteria for osteoporosis are met, antiresorptive drugs constitute the first pharmacological line treatment.