Bone mass, size, and density in children and adolescents with osteogenesis imperfecta: effect of intravenous pamidronate therapy

J Bone Miner Res. 2003 Apr;18(4):610-4. doi: 10.1359/jbmr.2003.18.4.610.


Cyclical intravenous therapy with pamidronate improves the clinical course in children and adolescents with osteogenesis imperfecta (OI). In this study, we evaluated the effect of this therapy on lumbar spine bone mass (bone mineral content [BMC]), size (bone volume [BV]), and density (volumetric bone mineral density [vBMD]). Results from 56 patients (age, 0.2-15.9 years; 25 girls) on long-term pamidronate treatment were compared with those of 167 patients who had not received pamidronate before densitometry. In all patients who received pamidronate, BMC, BV, and vBMD increased above levels expected for untreated patients (p < 0.001 in each case). After 4 years of treatment, BMC, BV, and vBMD were 154%, 44%, and 65% higher, respectively, in treated than in untreated patients who were matched for age and OI type. A multiple regression model showed that baseline BMC was negatively associated with the increase in BMC. In conclusion, the bone mass increase in pediatric OI patients receiving pamidronate is caused by increases in both bone size and density. Patients with larger deficits in bone mass at baseline have a more marked bone mass gain during therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bone Density / drug effects*
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects
  • Bone and Bones / pathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diphosphonates / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / drug effects
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / metabolism
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / pathology
  • Male
  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta / drug therapy*
  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta / metabolism
  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta / pathology
  • Pamidronate


  • Diphosphonates
  • Pamidronate