Effect of bisphosphonates on bone mineral density after renal transplantation as assessed by bone mineral densitometry

Transplant Proc. 2007 Apr;39(3):750-2. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2007.01.065.


Introduction: Steroid-induced osteoporosis is a major problem after organ transplantation. There is considerable evidence that bisphosphonates are effective in decreasing osteoporosis.

Aim: This prospective study was carried out to see the effects of bisphosphonates on bone mineral density (BMD) after successful renal transplantation.

Material and methods: Fifty consecutive patients of successful renal transplantation were randomized into two groups. Group A (n = 27) received 35 mg/wk of Alendronate for 6 months after transplantation. Group B (n = 23) did not receive Alendronate and served as a control. Both groups underwent a pretransplant baseline dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan of their hips and lumber spines. Both groups received oral calcium and vitamin D supplement. Both groups were matched for the regimen and dose of immunosuppressive drugs. BMD was measured at 3 months and 6 months after transplantation.

Results: Both groups showed a decline in BMD in early months posttransplantation. However, the 6-month DEXA scans showed a significant rise in BMD in group A as compared to group B.

Conclusion: Bisphosphonates appear to have a beneficial effect on steroid-induced bone loss.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / adverse effects
  • Alendronate / adverse effects*
  • Bone Density / drug effects*
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Femur / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation / physiology*
  • Patient Selection
  • Prospective Studies
  • Spine / drug effects


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Alendronate