Endocrine Abstracts (2017) 49 EP222 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.49.EP222

Is osteoporosis a curable disease?

Ifigenia Kostoglou-Athanassiou1, Eleni Pantazi2 & Panagiotis Athanassiou3


1Department of Endocrinology, Red Cross Hospital, Athens, Greece; 2Department of Endocrinology, Alexandra Hospital, Athens, Greece; 3Department of Rheumatology, St. Paul’s Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece.


Osteoporosis may be a disease of unknown etiology, or a degenerative disorder in the context of aging. Nowadays, the availability of multiple forms of effective drug treatment for osteoporosis have raised the hypothesis that osteoporosis may be not only a treatable but moreover a curable disease.

The aim was to describe the case of a patient with osteoporosis who after treatment with alendronate for 6 years had osteopenia and remains in the state of osteopenia for a long period after drug cessation.

A patient, female, aged 65 years, postmenopausal, presented with osteoporosis, T score in the spine being −3.2. Alendronate 70 mg once weekly was administered along with calcium and vitamin D. The patient also had hypothyroidism on treatment with L-thyroxine, TSH levels being within the normal range.

Bone mineral density measurement was performed yearly while the patient was on treatment with alendronate, calcium and vitamin D. Six years later bone mineral density measurement in both the spine and the hip revealed osteopenia, T score being −1.3 and −1.1 in the spine and the hip, respectively. Alendronate was discontinued, while calcium and vitamin D were administered to the patient. The patient is being followed for her osteopenia yearly, T score in the hip being −1.1 five years after treatment cessation.

In the case presented alendronate appears to have had a long lasting beneficial effect on the bone in a patient with osteoporosis. The state of osteopenia appears to be stable in the presented patient. This case of persistent improvement of osteoporosis after long lasting treatment with alendronate raises the question of whether osteoporosis may be a curable disease, not being merely a manifestation of aging. This case raises the hopeful hypothesis that osteoporosis with the emergence of novel effective forms of therapy may be cured.

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