Renu Suthar, B. V. Chaithanya Reddy, Manisha Malviya, Titiksha Sirari, Savita Verma Attri, Ajay Patial, Minni Tageja, Gunjan Didwal, Niranjan K. Khandelwal, Arushi G. Saini, Lokesh Saini, Jitendra K. Sahu, Devi Dayal, Naveen Sankhyan
April 12, 2021
Objectives Boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) are at increased risk for compromised bone health, manifesting as low-impact trauma long bone fractures and vertebral compression fractures. Methods In a prospective observational study, we studied bone health parameters in North Indian boys with DMD. We consecutively enrolled ambulatory boys with DMD on glucocorticoid therapy. Bone health was evaluated with X-ray spine, Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), serum calcium, vitamin D3 (25[OH]D), 1,25-dihyroxyvitamin D3 (1,25[OH] 2 D 3 ), serum osteocalcin, osteopontin, and N terminal telopeptide of type 1 collagen (Ntx) levels. Results A total of 76 boys with DMD were enrolled. The median age was 8.5 (interquartile range [IQR] 7.04–10.77) years. Among these, seven (9.2%) boys had long bone fractures, and four (5.3%) had vertebral compression fractures. Fifty-four (71%) boys underwent DXA scan, and among these 31 (57%) had low bone mineral density (BMD, ≤−2 z-score) at the lumbar spine. The mean BMD z-score at the lumbar spine was −2.3 (95% confidence interval [CI] = −1.8, −2.8), and at the femoral neck was −2.5 (95% CI = −2, −2.9). 25(OH)D levels were deficient in 68 (89.5%, n=76) boys, and 1,25(OH) 2 D 3 levels were deficient in all. Mean serum osteocalcin levels were 0.68 ± 0.38 ng/mL (n=54), serum osteopontin levels were 8.6 ± 4.6 pg/mL (n=54) and serum Ntx levels were 891 ± 476 nmol/L (n=54). Boys with low BMD received glucocorticoids for longer duration, in comparison to those with normal BMD (median, IQR [16.9 (6–34) months vs. 7.8 (4.8–13.4) months]; p=0.04). Conclusions Bone health is compromised in North Indian boys with DMD. BMD at the lumbar spine is reduced in more than half of boys with DMD and nearly all had vitamin D deficiency on regular vitamin D supplements. Longer duration of glucocorticoid therapy is a risk factor for low BMD in our cohort.