Renal osteodystrophy in the first decade of the new millennium: analysis of 630 bone biopsies in black and white patients

J Bone Miner Res. 2011 Jun;26(6):1368-76. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.309.


Renal osteodystrophy occurs early during loss of kidney function. There are 26 million American patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), and almost all patients with CKD stage 5 have abnormal bone histology. Six hundred and thirty bone biopsies from adult CKD-5 patients on dialysis were evaluated by histomorphometry and analyzed using the turnover (T), mineralization (M), and volume (V) classification. There were racial differences; whites exhibited predominantly low turnover (62%), whereas blacks showed mostly normal or high turnover (68%). A mineralization defect was observed in only 3% of patients. In whites, cancellous bone volume was low, normal, or high in approximately the same number of patients, whereas in blacks, cancellous bone volume was high in two-thirds of the patients. More than 80% of blacks and whites with low cancellous bone volume had thin trabeculae owing to low bone formation. Cortical thickness was low in half the whites, whereas it was normal in three-quarters of blacks. Cortical porosity was high in 50% of whites, whereas three-quarters of blacks had high porosity. In summary, the TMV system gives relevant information. It should be expanded to include the architecture of cancellous and cortical bone. There are racial differences. Low bone volume and low bone turnover are more frequent than heretofore appreciated, whereas mineralization defects nowadays are observed rarely in adults. These findings call for an adjustment of the current therapeutic paradigm that takes into consideration race and risk of low bone volume and turnover. The latter have been shown to be associated with increased vascular calcifications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Continental Ancestry Group / ethnology*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biopsy
  • Bone Remodeling / physiology
  • Bone and Bones / pathology*
  • Bone and Bones / physiopathology
  • Calcification, Physiologic / physiology
  • Chronic Kidney Disease-Mineral and Bone Disorder / complications
  • Chronic Kidney Disease-Mineral and Bone Disorder / ethnology*
  • Chronic Kidney Disease-Mineral and Bone Disorder / pathology*
  • Chronic Kidney Disease-Mineral and Bone Disorder / physiopathology
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / ethnology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / pathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Size / physiology
  • Porosity
  • Young Adult