Role of biochemical markers in the management of osteoporosis

Peter R. Ebeling, Kristina Åkesson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Several serum and urine biochemical markers of bone resorption and formation have been developed. Biochemical bone markers have been used as intermediate end-points in all major studies of anti-osteoporotic therapies. Bone resorption markers, in particular, may add an independent, predictive value to the assessment of bone loss and fracture risk. There are also potential advantages in monitoring anti-osteoporotic treatment in the short-term in addition to bone densitometry, to rapidly identify non-responders to therapy, or non-compliance. Despite these recent advances, until now bone markers have simply been very useful research tools, with their clinical utility being limited by intra-individual and diurnal variability. However, the probability of the true bone mineral density response to hormone replacement therapy for the individual patient may be predicted using algorithms based on a spectrum of cut-off bone marker levels with varying false positive and negative rates. Thus, the transition of biochemical bone markers into everyday clinical practice may be rapidly approaching.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-400
Number of pages16
JournalBest Practice and Research: Clinical Rheumatology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Biochemical bone markers
  • Bone density
  • Fracture risk
  • Non-responders
  • Therapy

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