Backscattered electron imaging (BEI) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were used to examine the effects of treatment with intermittent slow-release sodium fluoride (SRNaF) and continuous calcium citrate on bone architecture and crystallinity. Examination was performed in nondecalcified biopsies obtained from patients following up to four years of therapy (placebo or SRNaF) and compared to pretreatment biopsies from each patient, as well as to bone from young, normal subjects. BEI images disclosed increased areas of recent bone formation following fluoride administration. There was no evidence of a mineralization defect in any biopsy and both cortical and trabecular architecture remained normal. TEM analysis demonstrated intrafibrillar platelike crystals and extrafibrillar needlelike crystals for both the pre- and post-treatment biopsies as well as for the bone from young normal subjects. There was no evidence of increased crystal size or of an increase in extrafibrillar mineral deposition. These observations suggest that intermittent SRNaF and continuous calcium therapy exerts an anabolic action on the skeleton not accompanied by a mineralization defect or an alteration of bone mineral deposition. The use of BEI and TEM holds promise for the study of the pathophysiology and treatment of metabolic bone diseases.
- Backscattered electron imaging
- Transmission electron microscopy
ASJC Scopus subject areas