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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The effect of low dosage glucocorticoids on bone mass in rheumatoid arthritis: a cross-sectional and a longitudinal study using single photon absorptiometry.

The cross-sectional study of patients with RA receiving LDGC, compared with those on NSAID alone (or patients with AS) showed that LDGC significantly affects bone mass at midshaft and even more so at the distal radius. The loss of bone seems to be brisk but continuous on the long run, at least at the distal scanning site, and thus increases the C/T ratio, especially in aged men. The loss of bone mass in the LDGC group correlates with the duration of the disease as well as with carpal destruction (especially at mid shaft radius), with both parameters being correlated with one another. At equal carpal destruction, LDGC still affects bone mass. Whether receiving NSAID alone or LDGC in addition, patients with RA, as compared with controls, are more liable to lose bone when they grow older. In a longitudinal study, premenopausal women were unaffected by the administration of LDGC at both scanning sites. In contrast, postmenopausal women receiving LDGC lost at least twice as much bone as did normal women after the menopause. Men of all ages on LDGC lost bone at a rate equal to that of normal women after the menopause. Men with RA or with AS on NSAID alone did not significantly lose bone. It is concluded that LDGC may be given to premenopausal women without harm to their bone mass. After the menopause, hormonal replacement therapy, if not contra-indicated, should be given in association with LDGC. Men fortunately have a higher peak bone mass and therefore can afford to lose bone during a decade before they attain the same situation as women at the time of their menopause. If treatment is then continued for another two decades, their bone mass might behave as does that of postmenopausal women if bone loss is continuous over such long periods of time. This latter assumption has yet to be verified.[1]


  1. The effect of low dosage glucocorticoids on bone mass in rheumatoid arthritis: a cross-sectional and a longitudinal study using single photon absorptiometry. de Deuxchaisnes, C.N., Devogelaer, J.P., Esselinckx, W., Bouchez, B., Depresseux, G., Rombouts-Lindemans, C., Huaux, J.P. Adv. Exp. Med. Biol. (1984) [Pubmed]
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