Indian Journal of Dermatology
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  Official organ of AADV
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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 238-245

Assessment of bone mineral density by dual x-ray absorptiometry in dermatological patients treated by corticosteroids

Dept.of Dermatology & Radiodiagnosis, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Mona RE Abdel-Halim
29 Refaa Street, Dokki, 11234, Cairo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5154.70669

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Background: Corticosteroids are mainstay of dermatological therapy and they are also a well known cause of osteoporosis. The objective of the present study was to find out the influence of the systemic intake of corticosteroids, either by the oral route or by IV pulse administration, on bone mineral density in dermatological patients using dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Materials and Methods: This study was carried on 100 patients and 55 controls. The first group of patients included 55 patients undergoing long-term oral corticosteroid therapy daily and the second group included 45 patients who received IV dexamethasone pulse therapy. DXA was measured once for both the controls and patients in group 1. DXA was measured twice for patients in group 2, before starting pulse therapy (baseline DXA) and six months after regular treatment with pulse therapy (follow-up DXA). Results: The results show that significant reduction in BMD occurs in both groups, however, oral corticosteroids produce significantly more reduction in BMD in the lumbar spine. BMD was not found to be affected by the cumulative doses of corticosteroids, the duration of daily oral corticosteroid intake, or the number of IV dexamethasone pulses. Conclusion: Corticosteroid treatment causes significant BMD loss in patients treated by either route. Prophylactic treatment against osteoporosis is mandatory in patients receiving either form of corticosteroids.

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