Osteoporosis: an unusual presentation of childhood Crohn's disease

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2000 Jun;85(6):2122-6. doi: 10.1210/jcem.85.6.6640.


Osteoporosis is known to be associated with Crohn's disease. We report a 12-yr-old boy without a history of steroid use, in whom severe osteoporosis and multiple collapsed vertebrae were the presenting manifestations of Crohn's disease. After treatment of the Crohn's disease, he resumed normal growth and progressed through puberty. Concomitantly, he demonstrated a substantial recovery of vertebral bone mineral density and structure. Possible pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the osteoporosis and the subsequent improvement in bone density are discussed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alkaline Phosphatase / blood
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Crohn Disease / diagnosis*
  • Crohn Disease / diet therapy*
  • Crohn Disease / drug therapy
  • Diphosphonates / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Jews
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Methylprednisolone / therapeutic use*
  • Osteoporosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteoporosis / drug therapy
  • Osteoporosis / etiology*
  • Pamidronate
  • Radiography
  • Spine / diagnostic imaging
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Diphosphonates
  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • Pamidronate
  • Methylprednisolone