Bone biopsy samples were taken from 20 patients with Paget's disease before and after intravenous pamidronate therapy.In 10 patients given 180 or 360 mg during 6 or 9 weeks, bone turnover decreased as measured biochemically and histologically, but osteomalacia developed in 1 patient and mineralisation defects in 3. 10 other patients received 45 mg every 3 months for 1 year. Bone turnover decreased biochemically but not histologically, and osteoid thickness increased, suggesting impaired mineralisation. Despite overall efficacy, pamidronate has a narrow therapeutic range between resorption inhibition and mineralisation defects. Short courses given to achieve biochemical remission should be administered with caution.