Two-year risedronate treatment for osteoporosis in patients with esophageal varices: a non-randomized clinical trial

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Background: Bisphosphonates are the mainstay of osteoporosis treatment, but their use for patients with esophageal varices has been avoided due to the risk of esophagitis, which may cause variceal bleeding. Since most clinical trials assessing osteoporosis treatment last 2–3 years, this study aimed to evaluate a 2-year risedronate treatment for patients with esophageal varices and liver cirrhosis. Methods: The study received Institutional Review Board approval, and the sample was divided into two groups according to bone mineral density (BMD). Cirrhosis severity and endoscopic findings at baseline were similar between the groups. The intervention group had 51 patients with osteoporosis, who received oral risedronate 35 mg weekly plus calcium and vitamin D supplements. The control group had 51 patients with osteopenia, receiving only the supplements. Scheduled esophagogastroduodenoscopies and BMD measurements were carried out. Results: The adjusted esophagitis risk was higher in the intervention group; however, none of the subjects had digestive bleeding. Lumbar spine BMD increased in the intervention group (− 3.06 ± 0.71 to − 2.33 ± 0.90; p < 0.001) and in the control group (− 1.38 ± 0.77 to − 1.10 ± 1.05; p = 0.012). Femoral neck BMD did not change in the intervention group (− 1.64 ± 0.91 to − 1.71 ± 0.95; p = 0.220), but tended to decrease in the control group (− 1.00 ± 0.74 to − 1.09 ± 0.82; p = 0.053). Conclusion: Oral risedronate was effective and did not cause gastrointestinal bleeding in cirrhotic patients with esophageal varices under endoscopic surveillance. Graphic abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]




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Hepatology International.

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