Bisphosphonates and bone quality

Bonekey Rep. 2014 May 7;3:529. doi: 10.1038/bonekey.2014.24. eCollection 2014.


Bisphosphonates (BPs) are bone-avid compounds used as first-line medications for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. They are also used in other skeletal pathologies such as Paget's and metastatic bone disease. They effectively reduce osteoclast viability and also activity in the resorptive phase of bone remodelling and help preserve bone micro-architecture, both major determinants of bone strength and ultimately of the susceptibility to fractures. The chemically distinctive structure of each BP used in the clinic determines their unique affinity, distribution/penetration throughout the bone and their individual effects on bone geometry, micro-architecture and composition or what we call 'bone quality'. BPs have no clinically significant anabolic effects. This review will touch upon some of the components of bone quality that could be affected by the administration of BPs.

Publication types

  • Review