Long-term effects of intravenous pamidronate in fibrous dysplasia of bone

J Bone Miner Res. 1997 Oct;12(10):1746-52. doi: 10.1359/jbmr.1997.12.10.1746.


Fibrous dysplasia of bone (FD) is a rare disorder characterized by proliferation of fibrous tissue in bone marrow leading to osteolytic lesions. It causes bone pain and fractures. To date the only treatment is orthopedic. Histological and biochemical similarities between FD and Paget's bone disease related to increased osteoclastic resorption led us to propose treatment with the bisphosphonate pamidronate. The aim of the study was to assess the long-term effects of intravenous pamidronate in FD. In this open label phase III study, 20 patients with FD (11 males and 9 females; mean age 31 years) received courses of 180 mg of intravenous pamidronate every 6 months (60 mg/day during 3 days by infusion). The mean duration of follow-up was 39 months (range 18-64). Severity of bone pain, number of painful skeletal sites per patient, X-rays of all involved areas, serum alkaline phosphatase, fasting urinary hydroxyproline, and urinary type I collagen C-telopeptide were assessed every 6 months. The severity of bone pain and the number of painful sites appeared to be significantly reduced. All biochemical markers of bone remodeling were substantially lowered. We observed a radiographic response in nine patients with refilling of osteolytic lesions. A mineralization defect proven by bone biopsy was observed in one case. Four patients sustained bone stress lines, but no fracture occurred. We suggest that intravenous pamidronate alleviates bone pain, reduces the rate of bone turnover assessed by biochemical markers, and improves radiological lesions of FD. Few side effects were observed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase III

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Biopsy
  • Bone Density / drug effects*
  • Bone Remodeling / drug effects*
  • Bone and Bones / diagnostic imaging
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Diphosphonates / administration & dosage
  • Diphosphonates / adverse effects
  • Diphosphonates / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Fibrous Dysplasia of Bone / diagnostic imaging
  • Fibrous Dysplasia of Bone / drug therapy*
  • Fibrous Dysplasia of Bone / metabolism
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / drug therapy
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pamidronate
  • Radiography
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage


  • Biomarkers
  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Diphosphonates
  • Vitamin D
  • Pamidronate