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Cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis (CTX) is known to be associated with osteoporosis and a higher incidence of bone fractures. However, the underlying pathogenesis is still unknown, and the effects of long-term replacement therapy with chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA) on bone mineral density (BMD) have not been fully investigated. We studied 11 CTX patients aged 13-43 years. We performed dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and assessed serum cholestanol and 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) concentrations both at the time of diagnosis and after long-term treatment with CDCA. At baseline, we found low BMD in nine patients, cholestanol elevation in all subjects, and 25-OHD decrease in nine. After a mean follow-up time of 30 months (range 24-36), no substantial clinical changes including bone fractures occurred; and we detected a significant increase of both planar and volumetric BMD as well as normalization of plasma cholestanol levels and increase of serum 25-OHD. Densitometric improvement following CDCA introduction was not correlated to changes of biochemical parameters. Our study confirms the presence of low bone mass in CTX and demonstrates that long-term CDCA treatment increases bone mineral content. In this respect, improvement of vitamin D intestinal absorption secondary to bile acid restoration could play an important role. Moreover, our data strongly suggest the utility of periodic bone density evaluation in CTX patients.


Giuseppe Martini, Andrea Mignarri, Martina Ruvio, Roberto Valenti, Beatrice Franci, Marina Del Puppo, Antonio Federico, Ranuccio Nuti, Maria Teresa Dotti. Long-term bone density evaluation in cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis: evidence of improvement after chenodeoxycholic acid treatment. Calcified tissue international. 2013 Mar;92(3):282-6

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PMID: 23212544

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