Bone involvement in primary hemochromatosis and alcoholic cirrhosis

D. Conte, M. P. Caraceni, J. Duriez, C. Mandelli, E. Corghi, M. Cesana, S. Ortolani, P. A. Bianchi

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Biochemical indexes of bone metabolism, bone mineral density, and histomorphometry were evaluated in 14 male patients with noncholestatic cirrhosis due to primary hemochromatosis (six cases) or to chronic alcohol abuse (eight cases), and in 30 male controls of similar age. Alkaline phosphatase in alcoholic patients was significantly higher than in controls (mean ± SD 50.4 ± 33.7 vs 33.0 ± 7.1 U/L, p <0.01), as was urinary hydroxyproline in both hemochromatotics and alcoholics (mean ± SD, 44.3 ± 8.4 and 40.4 ± 16.8, respectively, vs 30.1 ± 4.5 mg/g, p <0.001 and p <0.005). Bone mineral density was significantly lower in hemochromatotics than in alcoholics and controls (mean ± SD, 591 ± 90 vs 765 ± 87 and 759 ± 34 mg/cm2, respectively, p <0.005 and p <0.001). At bone biopsy, trabecular osteoporosis was observed in two hemochromatotics and four alcoholics, and osteomalacia was seen in another alcoholic. Overall densitometric and histomorphometric findings indicate a derangement of trabecular bone in both alcoholic and hemochromatotic cirrhosis, whereas cortical osteoporosis seems limited to hemochromatotic patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1231-1234
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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