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, 56 (3), 512-525

Hepatic Osteodystrophy: A Global (Re)View of the Problem


Hepatic Osteodystrophy: A Global (Re)View of the Problem

Ecaterina-Constanța Barbu et al. Acta Clin Croat.


Hepatic osteodystrophy is a common and frequently untreated complication, manifested as osteoporosis or osteopenia, encountered in the evolution of chronic liver diseases. This article provides a narrative review of hepatic osteodystrophy. The aim is to revise the prevalence, pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of hepatic osteodystrophy. We searched medical literature via PubMed, Google Scholar, Wiley, Science Direct, and Springer Link using respective keywords to obtain data on low bone mineral density connected to chronic liver diseases. Many studies have reported an increased prevalence of osteoporosis/osteopenia in patients with chronic liver diseases. The pathogenesis is multifactorial, involving genetic factors, vitamin deficiencies, proinflammatory cytokines, hypogonadism, hyperbilirubinemia, antiviral therapy, corticosteroid drugs, and lifestyle factors. The management of patients should include individualized assessment for fracture risk factors and bone mineral density. Vitamin D and calcium supplementation should be recommended in all patients with chronic liver diseases and osteoporosis. Bisphosphonates are the most efficient drugs used in the treatment of hepatic osteodystrophy. In the future, it is necessary to define better the management and specific treatment of hepatic osteodystrophy for prevention of fragility fractures and to improve the patient quality of life.

Keywords: Antiviral agents; Bisphosphonates; Bone density; Bone diseases, metabolic – diagnosis; Bone diseases, metabolic – physiopathology; Fractures, bone; Liver diseases; Osteoporosis; Prevalence; Risk factors.

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