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Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas

Print version ISSN 1130-0108


LOPEZ-LARRAMONA, Germán; LUCENDO, Alfredo J.  and  GONZALEZ-DELGADO, Laura. Alcoholic liver disease and changes in bone mineral density. Rev. esp. enferm. dig. [online]. 2013, vol.105, n.10, pp.609-621. ISSN 1130-0108.

Osteoporosis and osteopenia are alterations in bone mineral density (BMD) that frequently occur in the context of chronic liver disease (CLD). These alterations have been studied predominantly in chronic cholestatic disease and cirrhosis of the liver. Alcohol consumption is an independent risk factor for the onset of osteoporosis, whose estimated prevalence in patients with alcoholic liver disease (ALD) ranges between 5 % and 40 %. The loss of BMD in ALD is the result of an imbalance between bone formation and resorption. Its pathogenesis is multifactorial and includes the toxic effects of alcohol on bone and endocrine and nutritional disorders secondary to alcoholism and a deficiency of osteocalcin, vitamin D and insulin growth factor-1. The diagnosis of BMD alterations in ALD is based on its measurement using bone densitometry. Treatment includes smoking and alcohol cessation and general measures such as changes in nutrition and exercise. Calcium and vitamin D supplements are recommended in all patients with ALD and osteoporosis. Bisphosphonates are the most commonly prescribed drugs for the specific treatment of this condition. Alternatives include raloxifene, hormone replacement therapy and calcitonin. This review will address the most important aspects involved in the clinical management of abnormal BMD in the context of ALD, including its prevalence, pathogenesis and diagnosis. We will also review the treatment of osteoporosis in CLD in general, focusing on specific aspects related to bone loss in ALD.

Keywords : Osteopenia; Osteoporosis; Bone mineral density; Alcoholic liver disease; Chronic liver disease; Alcohol.

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