Bone Quality and Fractures in Women With Osteoporosis Treated With Bisphosphonates for 1 to 14 Years

Hartmut H. Malluche, Jin Chen, Florence Lima, Lucas J. Liu, Marie Claude Monier-Faugere, David Pienkowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Oral bisphosphonates are the primary medication for osteoporosis, but concerns exist regarding potential bone-quality changes or low-energy fractures. This cross-sectional study used artificial intelligence methods to analyze relationships among bisphosphonate treatment duration, a wide variety of bone-quality parameters, and low-energy fractures. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and histomorphometry quantified bone-quality parameters in 67 osteoporotic women treated with oral bisphosphonates for 1 to 14 years. Artificial intelligence methods established two models relating bisphosphonate treatment duration to bone-quality changes and to low-energy clinical fractures. The model relating bisphosphonate treatment duration to bone quality demonstrated optimal performance when treatment durations of 1 to 8 years were separated from treatment durations of 9 to 14 years. This may be due to a change in relationship of bone-quality parameters with treatment duration. This model also showed that the effects of bisphosphonate treatment duration were most highly correlated with changes in means and standard deviations of infrared spectroscopically derived mineral and matrix parameters and histomorphometric bone turnover parameters. A second model related treatment duration to bone fracture in all 22 patients who fractured while on treatment with bisphosphonates for more than 8 years. This second model showed that bisphosphonate treatment duration, not hip bone mineral density (BMD), was the most strongly correlated parameter to these low-energy bone fractures. Application of artificial intelligence enabled analysis of large quantities of structural, cellular, mineral, and matrix bone-quality parameters to determine relationships with long-term oral bisphosphonate treatment and fracture. Infrared spectroscopy provides clinically relevant bone-quality information of which bone mineral purity is among the most relevant. Nine or more years of bisphosphonate treatment was associated with abnormal bone mineral purity, matrix abnormalities, and low-energy fractures. These data justify limiting bisphosphonate treatment duration to 8 years.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere10549
JournalJBMR Plus
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. JBMR Plus published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.


  • DXA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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