Objective: The American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) and American Gastroenterology Association (AGA) have both recently issued guidelines (the "Guidelines") regarding the diagnosis and management of osteoporosis in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The objective of this study was to determine the yield of implementing the Guidelines' recommendations in a prospective cohort of IBD patients and identify the prevalence of bone loss, risk factors, and potential influence on management.
Methods: One hundred consecutive IBD patients who fulfilled the Guidelines' criteria underwent dual energy X-ray absorptiometry scanning (DEXA) scanning of the lumbar vertebrae and bilateral hips. Demographic data, risk factor information, and changes in therapy based on screening were collected and analyzed.
Results: Indications for screening were history of prolonged past or concurrent steroid use (92%), postmenopausal status (7%), and history of low trauma fracture (7%). Forty-four percent of patients had osteopenia of either the lumbar spine or the hips, 12% had osteoporosis of either the spine or hips, and 44% had normal bone density. In a univariate analysis, factors predicting a greater likelihood of osteoporosis (but not osteopenia) were a diagnosis of Crohn's disease (vs. ulcerative colitis), low body mass index in women, and postmenopausal status. Specific therapies based on DEXA findings were initiated in 69% of patients: oral calcium and vitamin D supplementation in 69% and an oral bisphoshphonate in 20%.
Conclusions: Implementation of the Guidelines led to the detection of osteopenia or osteoporosis and initiation of specific therapies in a majority of patients who met the Guidelines' criteria for DEXA screening.