Bone structure in postmenopausal hyperparathyroid, osteoporotic, and normal women

May Parisien, Felicia Cosman, Robert W.E. Mellish, Michele Schnitzer, Jeri Nieves, Shonni J. Silverberg, Elizabeth Shane, Donald Kimmel, Robert R. Recker, John P. Bilezikian, Robert Lindsay, David W. Dempster

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120 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that patients with mild primary hyperparathyroidism are protected against postmenopausal (PM) loss of cancellous bone architecture. To achieve this, we compared hone structure and turnover in iliac bone biopsies from three groups: 16 women with mild primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT; 58.2 ± 2.2 years, 11.5 ± 1.7 years PM), 17 women with untreated primary osteoporosis (OP; 65.1 ± 2.0 years, 17.2 ± 2.3 years PM), and 31 healthy women (N; 59.8 ± 1.4 years, 13.4 ± 1.5 years PM). The bone formation rate was significantly higher in PHPT than in either OP or N, and not different between OP and N. Cancellous bone volume, total strut length, and indices of connectivity (node number, node to node strut length, and node to terminus ratio) were significantly lower in OP than either PHPT or N but were the same or higher in PHPT than in N. Indices of disconnectivity were significantly lower in PHPT than in N, whereas they were the same or higher in OP than N. The data were also analyzed in subgroups matched by years PM with no changes in the results. These findings indicate that osteoporotic patients with normal bone turnover have low bone volume and microarchitectural deterioration, while patients with mild PHPT have normal bone volume and normal or greater trabecular connectivity despite higher bone turnover. These findings suggest that mild PHPT protects against the loss of cancellous bone structure that normally follows menopause.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1393-1399
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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