Effect of estrogen replacement plus low-dose alendronate treatment on bone density in surgically postmenopausal women with osteoporosis

Stefano Palomba, Francesco Orio, Annamaria Colao, Costantino Di Carlo, Teresa Sena, Gaetano Lombardi, Fulvio Zullo, Pasquale Mastrantonio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This prospective randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial was performed to evaluate the effectiveness of estrogens plus low-dose alendronate on bone metabolism. A total of 150 surgically postmenopausal women with osteoporosis were randomized in three groups: group A, micronized E2 (2 mg/d) plus standard-dose alendronate (10 mg/d); group B, micronized E2 plus low-dose alendronate (5 mg/d); and group C, micronized E2 plus placebo (one tablet per day). In all women, bone mineral density (BMD) and serum bone metabolism markers were assessed at admission and every 6 months for 2 yr. After 2 yr, BMD significantly increased compared with baseline in all groups. The percentage BMD change was significantly higher in groups A and B than in group C. The differences in BMD detected between groups A and B were not statistically significant. Since the 6-month follow-up and throughout the study, serum osteocalcin and bone alkaline phosphatase levels and urinary deoxypyridinoline and pyrilinks-D excretion were significantly reduced in all groups. Serum bone alkaline phosphatase levels significantly decreased in groups A and B, without difference between them, in comparison with group C. In conclusion, in surgically postmenopausal osteoporotic women treated with estrogen replacement, the addition of alendronate at a low dose of 5 mg daily induces a gain of bone mass not significantly different in comparison with that obtained using a standard dose of 10 mg daily.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1502-1508
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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