Osteoporosis in primary biliary cirrhosis: pathogenesis and treatment

Clin Liver Dis. 2008 May;12(2):407-24; x. doi: 10.1016/j.cld.2008.02.005.


Osteoporosis, characterized by loss of bone strength leading to fragility fractures, is a common event in patients who have primary biliary cirrhosis. Although its pathogenesis is not well known, it results mainly from low bone formation. There is no specific treatment, but bisphosphonates, especially alendronate, effectively increases bone mass and prevents bone loss. Despite these favorable effects on bone mass, no clear effects on decreasing the fracture rate are demonstrated, probably because of the low number of patients included in the trials. The potential usefulness of new agents requires further evaluation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Fractures, Bone / etiology
  • Fractures, Bone / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Biliary / complications*
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Biliary / therapy
  • Osteoporosis / diagnosis
  • Osteoporosis / etiology*
  • Osteoporosis / therapy*