Bisphosphonates for the Prevention of Fractures in Osteogenesis Imperfecta: Meta-Analysis of Placebo-Controlled Trials

Jannie D Hald, Evangelos Evangelou, Bente L Langdahl, Stuart H Ralston

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Abstract / Description of output

Bisphosphonates are widely used off-label in the treatment of patients with osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) with the intention of reducing the risk of fracture. Although there is strong evidence that bisphosphonates increase bone mineral density in osteogenesis imperfecta, the effects on fracture occurrence have been inconsistent. The aim of this study was to gain a better insight into the effects of bisphosphonate therapy on fracture risk in patients with osteogenesis imperfecta by conducting a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials in which fractures were a reported endpoint. We searched Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials in which the effects of bisphosphonates on fracture risk in osteogenesis imperfecta were compared with placebo and conducted a meta-analysis of these studies using standard methods. Heterogeneity was assessed using the I(2) statistic. Six eligible studies were identified involving 424 subjects with 751 patient-years of follow-up. The proportion of patients who experienced a fracture was not significantly reduced by bisphosphonate therapy (Relative Risk [RR] = 0.83 [95% confidence interval 0.69-1.01], p = 0.06) with no heterogeneity between studies (I(2)  = 0). The fracture rate was reduced by bisphosphonate treatment when all studies were considered (RR = 0.71 [0.52-0.96], p = 0.02), but with considerable heterogeneity (I(2)  = 36%) explained by one study where a small number of patients in the placebo group experienced a large number of fractures. When this study was excluded, the effects of bisphosphonates on fracture rate was not significant (RR = 0.79 [0.61-1.02], p = 0.07, I(2)  = 0%). We conclude that the effects of bisphosphonates on fracture prevention in osteogenesis imperfecta are inconclusive. Adequately powered trials with a fracture endpoint are needed to further investigate the risks and benefits of bisphosphonates in this condition. © 2014 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)929-933
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number5
Early online date18 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015

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