Bone Mineral Status after Renal Transplantation Assessment by Noninvasive Techniques

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Bone mineral status in recipients of renal grafts is related to preexisting renal osteodystrophy and immunosuppressive treatment. The authors assessed bone mineral status after renal transplantation.


Bone mineral status of 20 male graft recipients was evaluated using the following noninvasive techniques: 1) neutron activation analysis, to measure hand bone phosphorus (HBP); 2) single photon absorptiometry, to measure forearm bone mineral content (BMC); and 3) single energy spectrum quantitative computed tomography, to measure spinal trabecular bone equivalent density (TBED).


The mean (±SD, P) HBP, BMC, and TBED were found to be respectively, 4.8% (±8.3%, P = .02), 6.6% (±14.6%, P = .07) and 52% (±8.5%, P < .001) lower than that measured in matched normal controls. Renal graft recipients demonstrated mean HBP and BMC decrements that were similar to those observed in matched patients on extrarenal dialysis, although the decrement in TBED was significantly greater in the graft recipients (P < .001). Repeated measurements performed during a 3-year period showed no statistically significant changes.


Renal transplantation was associated with minor degree of osteopenia in the primarily cortical bone tissue. We speculate that the remarkably low TBED values in graft recipients does not reflect a mean 52% decrement of spinal bone minerals, but rather may be attributed in part to the deposition of adipose tissue in the spine as a result of corticosteroid treatment.

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