Evaluation of bone and mineral metabolism in patients recently diagnosed with leprosy.
This study was conducted to evaluate patients recently diagnosed with the tuberculoid and lepromatous forms of leprosy for bone mass, bone remodeling, and hormones related to mineral control. Eleven normal control individuals (CG) and 12 patients with leprosy (LG) matched for physical characteristics were submitted to evaluation of bone mass density (BMD) and to the determination of serum levels of PTH, 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], testosterone, LH, FSH, osteocalcin (OC), and urinary levels of deoxypyridinoline (DPD). The T score of lumbar spine and total radius (mean +/- SD) were significantly lower in leprosy patients (L1-L4: CG = -0.7 +/- 1.5 vs LG = -1.8 +/- 1.0 SD, P < 0.04, and total radius: CG = -1.43 +/- 0.6 vs LG = -2.1 +/- 0.8 SD, P <0.02), whereas no significant differences were observed in total hip or femoral neck T score. However, at all sites, the rate of low bone mass (T score < -1.0) was higher in LG (femoral neck: CG = 18% vs LG = 50%, total hip: CG = 27% vs LG = 42%). There was a significant difference in albumin and PTH levels between groups but not in serum 25(OH)D and OC levels or urinary DPD levels. The present results indicate that bone mass loss is an early event in leprosy patients and frequently is already present at diagnosis. Its etiopathogenesis is multifactorial, and further studies are needed to determine the most efficient way to prevent fractures in this condition. The data obtained in the present study need confirmation by the evaluation of a larger sample.