Background: Osteopenia and osteoporosis are considered to be extra-intestinal manifestations of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α biologics have been introduced as novel medications for an active IBD. However, it is still not well documented whether anti-TNF-α affects the frequency of bone loss or abnormality of bone mineral markers among patients with IBD.
Aims: This study was to investigate the biochemical basis of low bone mineral density (BMD) and increased turnover in IBD during infliximab (IFX) therapy.
Methods: Forty patients with Crohn's disease (CD), 80 patients with ulcerative colitis (UC), and 65 age- and gender-matched controls were included. BMD was measured with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and vitamins K and D were measured as serum undercarboxylated osteocalcin (ucOC) and 1,25-(OH)2D, respectively. Bone formation and resorption were based on measuring bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP) and serum N-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (NTx), respectively.
Results: Significantly lower BMD was found in patients with UC and CD as compared to controls (P < 0.05). BAP, 1,25-(OH)2D, ucOC, and NTx were significantly higher in CD patients, but not in UC patients as compared to controls (P < 0.05). Further, serum NTx level was significantly higher in CD patients who were receiving IFX as compared to CD patients who were not receiving IFX (P < 0.01).
Conclusions: A lower BMD and higher bone metabolism markers were found in CD patients as compared to controls or UC patients. A significant increased serum level of NTx, a biochemical marker of increased bone resorption, was observed in CD patients during IFX therapy.
Keywords: Bone mineral density; Bone resorption; Inflammatory bowel disease; Infliximab; Osteoporosis.