, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 21–27 | Cite as

Mechanisms of bone loss and gain in untreated and treated osteoporosis

  • Juliet Compston


Histomorphometric studies have made an important contribution to our understanding of how pharmacologic interventions affect BMD and bone strength in patients with osteoporosis. For antiresorptive agents, the therapeutic effect is mediated predominantly by suppression of bone turnover; in the case of more potent antiresorptive agents, changes in secondary mineralization also occur that affect BMD and, potentially, bone strength. The mechanisms by which anabolic agents increase BMD and reduce fracture risk include de novo bone formation and induction of a positive remodeling balance. The relationship between BMD and bone strength is influenced by different factors in the case of anti-resorptive and anabolic agents, and the relative antifracture efficacy of the two approaches at both vertebral and non-vertebral sites requires further study.


Bone Mineral Density Cancellous Bone Bone Strength Anabolic Effect Antiresorptive Agent 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MedicineUniversity of Cambridge School of Clinical MedicineCambridgeUK

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