Cells and Materials


Total body bone absorptiometry reveals low mineral density in both postmenopausal osteoporosis and osteomalacia patients. The method was used to investigate the effect of calcitriol administration on patients suffering from one of these conditions. In osteomalacia, the administration of calcitriol resulted in a dramatic improvement in bone mineral density (sometimes up to 50% in 12 months), indicating the rapid mineralization of previously uncalcified bone tissue as a result of the normalization of the Ca x P product. In osteoporosis a similar treatment was seen to halt the progressive decrease in bone mineral levels and sometimes resulted in minor increases in density (up to 5%). This is likely to be due to a normalization of intestinal calcium malabsorption which halts secondary homeostatic bone resorption.