Objective: To examine alendronate's side-effect profile and effect on bone mineral density (BMD) in deflazacort-treated boys with Duchenne's muscular dystrophy (DMD) and low BMD. Design: Before-after trial. Setting: Neuromuscular clinic at a children's hospital in Canada between 1999 and 2000. Participants: All consenting boys with DMD who had z scores less than -1.00 (spine and/or total body) and in whom BMD testing was feasible. Intervention: Boys received. 08mg·kg-1·d-1of alendronate orally, with 750mg of daily calcium and 1000IU of vitamin D. BMD, height, weight, physical activity, Tanner stage, and adverse effects were followed for 2 years. Main Outcome Measures: BMD z scores at the lumbar spine (L1-4) and total body. Results: Of the 42 eligible boys assessed, 23 had low BMD; for 16 of the 23, future BMD testing was feasible. Mean age was 10.8 years (range, 6.9-15.6y). Mean baseline z scores at the total body and spine were -0.80 and -1.94, respectively. At 2 years, mean z scores were unchanged. Furthermore, alendronate response varied by baseline age. In multivariable analysis, improvement in total body and spine z scores was associated with younger age at baseline (P=.01 for both). Conclusions: In deflazacort-treated boys, alendronate had a positive effect on BMD z scores; the effect was greatest when given early in the course of disease. © 2005 by American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
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