Systemic osteoporosis and increased fracture rates have been described in chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, inflammatory bowel diseases, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Most of these patients receive glucocorticoids, which have their own deleterious effects on bone. However, the other main determinant of bone fragility is the inflammation itself, as shown by the interactions between the inflammatory mediators, the actors of the immune system, and the bone remodelling. The inflammatory disease activity is thus on top of the other well-known osteoporotic risk factors in these patients. Optimal control of inflammation is part of the prevention of osteoporosis, and potent anti-inflammatory drugs have positive effects on surrogate markers of bone fragility. More data are needed to assess the anti-fracture efficacy of a tight control of inflammation in patients with a chronic inflammatory disorder. This review aimed at presenting different clinical aspects of inflammatory diseases which illustrate the relationships between inflammation and bone fragility.
Keywords: Bone densitometry; Fracture; Inflammation; Osteoporosis.