Management of osteoporosis in patients with chronic kidney disease

Osteoporos Int. 2022 Nov;33(11):2259-2274. doi: 10.1007/s00198-022-06462-3. Epub 2022 Jun 24.


Patients with CKD have a 4-fivefold higher rate of fractures. The incidence of fractures increases with deterioration of kidney function. The process of skeletal changes in CKD patients is characterized by compromised bone strength because of deterioration of bone quantity and/or quality. The fractures lead to a deleterious effect on the quality of life and higher mortality in patients with CKD. The pathogenesis of bone loss and fracture is complex and multi-factorial. Renal osteodystrophy, uremic milieu, drugs, and systemic diseases that lead to renal failure all contribute to bone damage in CKD patients. There is no consensus on the optimal diagnostic method of compromised bone assessment in patients with CKD. Bone quantity and mass can be assessed by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) or quantitative computed tomography (QCT). Bone quality on the other side can be assessed by non-invasive methods such as trabecular bone score (TBS), high-resolution bone imaging methods, and invasive bone biopsy. Bone turnover markers can reflect bone remodeling, but some of them are retained by kidneys. Understanding the mechanism of bone loss is pivotal in preventing fracture in patients with CKD. Several non-pharmacological and therapeutic interventions have been reported to improve bone health. Controlling laboratory abnormalities of CKD-MBD is crucial. Anti-resorptive therapies are effective in improving BMD and reducing fracture risk, but there are uncertainties about safety and efficacy especially in advanced CKD patients. Accepting the prevalent of low bone turnover in patients with advanced CKD, the osteo-anabolics are possibly promising. Parathyroidectomy should be considered a last resort for intractable cases of renal hyperparathyroidism. There is a wide unacceptable gap in osteoporosis management in patients with CKD. This article is focusing on the updated management of CKD-MBD and osteoporosis in CKD patients. Chronic kidney disease deteriorates bone quality and quantity. The mechanism of bone loss mainly determines pharmacological treatment. DXA and QCT provide information about bone quantity, but assessing bone quality, by TBS, high-resolution bone imaging, invasive bone biopsy, and bone turnover markers, can guide us about the mechanism of bone loss.

Keywords: Bone mineral density; CKD-MBD; Management; Osteodystrophy; Osteoporosis; Transplantation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon / methods
  • Bone Density
  • Chronic Kidney Disease-Mineral and Bone Disorder* / complications
  • Chronic Kidney Disease-Mineral and Bone Disorder* / therapy
  • Fractures, Bone* / etiology
  • Humans
  • Osteoporosis* / diagnosis
  • Osteoporosis* / etiology
  • Osteoporosis* / therapy
  • Quality of Life
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic* / complications
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic* / therapy