There appears to be a relationship between bone loss and generalized inflammation in adults with cystic fibrosis, according to a new study.
There appears to be a relationship between bone loss and generalized inflammation in adults with cystic fibrosis, according to a new study.Inflammatory compounds stimulate the activity of osteoclasts — cells involved in the normal removal of excess bone tissue — “and this could lead to increased bone resorption in patients with cystic fibrosis,” Dr. Charles S. Haworth, of Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, UK, and colleagues write in the medical journal Thorax.They therefore examined whether markers of systemic inflammation are related to changes in bone mineral content in adults with cystic fibrosis.The researchers measured total-body bone mineral content in 100 patients at the start of the study and one year later. At the same time points, blood samples were taken to measure markers of systemic inflammation.Bone mineral content declined by an average of 16 grams after one year. The team found that higher average levels of inflammatory compounds called interleukin 6 and C-reactive protein were found in patients with the greatest loss of bone.Urinary markers of osteoclast activity also correlated with interleukin 6 levels.Inflammation in turn was related to infection with Burkholderia cepacia — common in people with cystic fibrosis — and with greater need for antibiotic therapy.”These data provide a pathophysiological mechanism by which chronic pulmonary infection results in bone loss in this patient population,” Haworth and colleagues conclude.(Source: Reuters, Thorax, July 2004)