Influence of disodium etidronate on Paget's disease of bone.
The original publication is available at http://www.samj.org.za
The use of agents that decrease bone resorption, notably the calcitonins, diphosphonates and mithramycin, has been shown to result in symptomatic and/or biochemical improvement in patients with Paget's disease of bone (osteitis deformans). The effects of short-term (6 months), low-dose (5 mg/kg body mass/d) etidronate disodium, a diphosphonate compound at present subject to registration in this country, on the clinical and laboratory manifestations of this disorder were examined. Marked symptomatic improvement was noted in 70% of patients, while biochemical parameters of bone turnover, namely serum alkaline phosphatase level (44%) and urine hydroxyproline excretion (56%), decreased significantly (P less than 0.001). A technetium-99m bone scan revealed an impressive reduction in uptake of isotope in 50% of patients. The drug was well tolerated and no adverse reactions (clinical, biochemical or haematological) were evident. It is concluded that short-term low-dose etidronate disodium affords a convenient and effective therapeutic alternative in patients with symptomatic Paget's disease.
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