Decreased bone mineral density in neurofibromatosis-1 patients with spinal deformities

Osteoporos Int. 2001;12(10):823-7. doi: 10.1007/s001980170032.


A cross-sectional study was carried out to obtain data on the bone mineral density status of a group of neurofibromatosis-1 patients with spinal deformities, and to search for possible accompanying changes in the bone mineral turnover. Neurofibromatosis-1 is a heredofamiliar disorder that is associated with a variety of skeletal anomalies (mostly spinal deformities) in 10-50% of patients. Intraoperatively, a poor vertebral bone quality has been observed. Efforts have been made to identify factors preventing curve progression, to optimize operational planning and to explain the pathomechanism. As part of the preoperative evaluation, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was used to assess the bone mineral density of the lumbar spine in 12 patients with neurofibromatosis-1, supplemented by laboratory blood/urine investigations. A significant decrease in bone mineral density of the lumbar spine was measured. An inverse relation was suggested between the severity of scoliosis and the lumbar spine Z-scores. No pivotal alterations were identified in the laboratory measurements. The bony tissue abnormality observed intraoperatively in neurofibromatosis-1 patients may be described as a diminution of the axial bone mineral density. The biochemical parameters do not support the presence of hyperparathyroidism, renal disorders or other associated diseases influencing the bone mineral turnover. The evaluation of bone mineral density in the course of the preoperative planning is proposed in neurofibromatosis-1; the exact background and the role of a possible osteoporosis in the prognosis remain to be elucidated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon / methods
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bone Density / physiology*
  • Bone Remodeling / physiology
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurofibromatosis 1 / complications
  • Neurofibromatosis 1 / physiopathology*
  • Spinal Curvatures / complications
  • Spinal Curvatures / physiopathology*