We evaluated the effects of intermittent slow-release sodium fluoride (SRNaF) and continuous calcium citrate therapy on cortical bone histology, reflection ultrasound velocity (material strength) and backscattered electron image analysis (BEI) in 26 osteoporotic patients before and following therapy. All measurements were made on transiliac crest bone biopsies obtained before and following 2 years of therapy in each patient. For all 26 patients there were no significant changes in cortical bone histomorphometric parameters. In 15 patients in whom bone material quality was assessed by reflection ultrasound, there was no change in velocity (4000 ± 227 SD to 4013 ± 240 m/s). BEI disclosed no mineralization defects or the presence of woven bone. Mean atomic number (density) of bone increased slightly, but significantly (9.261 ± 0.311 to 9.457 ± 0.223, P = 0.031). While these changes are less marked than those observed for cancellous bone, they indicate that this form of therapy does not adversely affect cortical bone remodelling.
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