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Decreased Bone Mineral Density In Non-cirrhotic Patients With Chronic Hepatitis B or C

Ingolf Schiefke, Department of Gastroenterology, University of Leipzig, Germany; Gudrun Borte, Department of Radiology, University of Leipzig, Germany; Manfred Wiese, Municipal Hospital 'St. Georg', Teaching Hospital of the University of Leipzig, Germany, Eva Schenker, Department of Gastroenterology, University of Leipzig, Germany

Several previous studies suggest that loss of bone mineral density is common among patients with chronic liver diseases. We studied bone mineral metabolism and density in patients with chronic hepatitis B or C without cirrhosis.

Biochemical markers of bone turnover and bone mineral density were measured in 42 consecutive patients. They are suffering from viral hepatitis B (13) and hepatitis C (29). Bone mineral density was measured by dual x-ray absorptiometry in the lumbar spine and femoral neck. Bone metabolism markers and hormone profiles were measured. Bone mineral density was lower in 29 (69%) of our investigated 42 patients with

chronic hepatitis B or C. Eight of the 29 osteopenic patients (28%) have osteoporosis. The bone mineral density in chronic Hepatitis C patients was more decreased in both locations compared with patients with chronic hepatitis B. Serum and urine biochemical markers were within the normal limits in both groups.

In summary, chronic hepatitis B or C in non-cirrhotic patients may induce bone loss. In view of our results and according to previous studies, this secondary effect of chronic hepatitis should be further investigated in following studies with a larger number of included patients. Markers of bone metabolism and bone mineral density might be used in monitoring these patients to reduce their risk of developing osteoporosis.

2002 EASL Conference (European Association for the Study of the Liver)

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