New Bone Test Could Explain Atypical Femur Fractures after Long Term Bisphosphonate Use
SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Oct. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Medical researchers report evidence of severe deterioration of bone material properties in patients that sustain an atypical femur fracture after taking bisphosphonates for more than five years. Results of a 70 person clinical study were presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) in Minneapolis, Minnesota from October 12-15, 2012.
In recent years, a potential link between long term bisphosphonate use and atypical femur fractures has been reported. Bisphosphonates are a class of drug used to treat millions of people for osteoporosis. The gold standard diagnostic test, Bone Mineral Density (BMD, or Bone Mass), is not able to predict or detect these fractures and in most cases these fractures occur in patients with normal BMD. Among researchers it is generally understood that bone strength, the ability of a bone to resist breaking, depends on three things:
- How much bone material there is (bone mass/bone mineral density),
- How well the bone material is put together (bone structure), and
- How good that bone material is (bone material properties)
Until recently, the only available methods for direct estimates of these properties required invasive bone sampling, making routine use in clinics unfeasible. As a result, little was known about the role bone material properties play in making bones strong.
This study utilized a new technology called Reference Point Indentation that can take previously impossible in vivo measures of bone material properties. “Study evidence strongly suggests a deep deterioration of the bone material properties in patients that fractured,” said Dr. Adolfo Diez Perez, osteoporosis expert and Chief of Internal Medicine at the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona, Spain. Dr. Diez-Perez is Principal Investigator of the study and the pioneer of the Bone Microindentation Testing (BMT). “It is possible that long term use of bisphosphonates compounded an underlying problem. BMT could one day identify those patients who are most at risk, but more research is needed to know for certain.”
About Active Life
Active Life Scientific, Inc. develops life science and medical instruments for taking previously impossible in vivo measures of biological material properties – an integral, previously inaccessible indication of biological tissue health in vivo. Active Life’s products are based on renowned inventor Dr. Paul Hansma’s latest breakthrough, Reference Point Indentation, which for the first time enables in vivo quantitative measures of bone and other tissue material properties. Active Life initially supports applications for researching bone fracture risk and effects of related treatments, and is developing an array of products and applications for less costly and improved prevention, diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries, diseases and disorders.
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