Skeletal Metabolism in Critical Illness

  • Steven R. Gambert
  • Stephen J. Peterson
Part of the Contemporary Endocrinology book series (COE, volume 4)


Although a wealth of information has accumulated concerning physiological changes that may occur in the setting of critical illness, little has been written specifically regarding critical illness and its potential effects on the skeletal system. Not only may individual problems alter normal skeletal homeostasis, but treatment modalities used both short and long term must be considered. The skeletal system is the largest “organ” in the body, and serves a structural function and as a reservoir for calcium and other nutrients necessary for normal homeostasis and cellular action. Bone is a complex tissue and has a developmental process; it is constantly being remodeled throughout life. Its mechanical properties provide strength for skeletal support as well as protection for other organs. Changes that occur may have significance for one’s functional capacity and ability to conduct necessary activities of daily living, as well as may compromise function of internal organs. Although most changes in bone take months to years to become clinically significant, even small changes may alter the balance in individuals with pre-existing pathology or decreased reserve capacity.


Bone Mineral Density Bone Loss Bone Turnover Bone Mineral Content Critical Illness 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven R. Gambert
  • Stephen J. Peterson

There are no affiliations available

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