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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 846-852

Bone turnover markers: Emerging tool in the management of osteoporosis


1 Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Thomas Vizhalil Paul
Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Christian Medical College, Vellore - 632 004, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2230-8210.192914

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Bone is a dynamic tissue which undergoes constant remodeling throughout the life span. Bone turnover is balanced with coupling of bone formation and resorption at various rates leading to continuous remodeling of bone. A study of bone turnover markers (BTMs) provides an insight of the dynamics of bone turnover in many metabolic bone disorders. An increase in bone turnover seen with aging and pathological states such as osteoporosis leads to deterioration of bone microarchitecture and thus contributes to an increase in the risk of fracture independent of low bone mineral density (BMD). These microarchitectural alterations affecting the bone quality can be assessed by BTMs and thus may serve as a complementary tool to BMD in the assessment of fracture risk. A systematic search of literature regarding BTMs was carried out using the PubMed database for the purpose of this review. Various reliable, rapid, and cost-effective automated assays of BTMs with good sensitivity are available for the management of osteoporosis. However, BTMs are subjected to various preanalytical and analytical variations necessitating strict sample collection and assays methods along with utilizing ethnicity-based reference standards for different populations. Estimation of fracture risk and monitoring the adherence and response to therapy, which is a challenge in a chronic, asymptomatic disease such as osteoporosis, are the most important applications of measuring BTMs. This review describes the physiology of bone remodeling, various conventional and novel BTMs, and BTM assays and their role in the assessment of fracture risk and monitoring response to treatment with antiresorptive or anabolic agents.


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