Introduction: Bone mineral density (BMD) and fracture rates in children with osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) have been shown to improve with bisphosphonate therapy. There are limited data available on the efficacy of this therapy in children with OI under the age of 3 years. To examine this, we instituted a prospective clinical trial of intravenous bisphosphonate to study safety, feasibility, and efficacy of this therapy.
Materials and methods: Nine infants and young children with osteogenesis imperfecta (age range 1-35 months) were treated with intravenous pamidronate. Six had type II OI, two had type I, and one had type IV. Pamidronate was administered in cycles of 3 consecutive days. The total duration of therapy ranged from 11 to 29 months (mean 17 months).
Results: During treatment, the mean annualized percent change in total body areal BMD was 25% (range 11-40%). Pamidronate therapy resulted in sustained and significant decreases in serum calcium and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase and in urine calcium/creatinine and NTX/creatinine. Fracture rate in the group decreased from 80 fractures in 111 months before treatment to 25 fractures in 152 months after treatment (P<0.01). Linear growth and weight gain were maintained. Other than fevers in several infants following the initial dose of intravenous bisphosphonate no adverse effects of therapy were noted.
Conclusions: Our data support that intravenous pamidronate therapy is safe, increases BMD, and reduces fracture rates in very young children with OI. Currently, it would seem to be the best available treatment for these children.