LAM KID

[Osteonecrosis of the jaws: real and unreal scares]

VASZILKÓ Mihály

DECEMBER 23, 2011

LAM KID - 2011;1(03)

[Osteonecrosis caused by bisphosphonates has been known for a long time, but it is still not widely known. Some people overestimate the danger caused by this disease, whereas others underrate it. In this paper, we summerise data from the international literature and our experiences concerning 93 patients treated at our clinic. We discuss the already known details of the pathomechanism of this disease, its risk factors, the diagnostic methods, the specific stages of the disease and the treatment approaches. Considering the difficulties of treatment, we can't emphasise enough the importance of prevention, since the development of this complication can be minimised even in patients at risk with dental sanation before the bisphosphonate therapy and/or with further intervention performed with antibiotic preventive therapy. We must also point out the importance of early diagnosis and of directing these patients to the appropriate specialist units.]

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[Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterised by increased local and generalised bone resorption, which manifests in the develoment of marginal erosions and generalised osteoporosis, respectively. An increasing number of data suggest that lymphocytes, proinflammatory cytokines and other mediators involved in inflammation contribute to arthritic bone resorption. Therefore, the term ‘osteoimmunology’ has also become widely used. In RA, Receptor Activator of Nuclear Factor kappa B (RANK) and its ligand (RANKL) play a crucial role in bone resorption. These proteins, which belong to the tumor necrosis factor a (TNF-a) receptor and TNF ligand superfamilies, respectively, activate osteoclasts while interacting with T cells, synovial fibroblasts and other cytokines (e.g. IL-1, IL-17), which results in bone resorption. Osteoprotegerin (OPG) is a decoy receptor that also belongs to the TNF receptor family and inhibits RANK-RANKL interactions. There is increased RANKL production and decreased OPG production in RA. The interaction of RANKL with IL-17 is particularly important. Regarding therapy, sulfasalazine, methotrexate and biological agents, especially TNF inhibitors suppress RANKL-mediated bone resorption and thus the development of joint erosions. RANKL-RANK interaction can be directly inhibited by recombinant OPG or anti-RANKL antibody (denosumab). Among these agents, denosumab gave promising results in experiments performed in animal models of arthritis. These were followed by a phase II human RA trial, which proved that denosumab decreased MRI erosion scores in RA.]

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[The parathyroid gland and its product, parathyroid hormone (PTH) have been subjects of interests in biomedical research for 150 years. Early studies, understandably, concentrated on the primary function: the regulation of serum calcium level. In the past few decades, however, more and more data have shown that, in contrast with the classical view, PTH receptors are expressed not only on bone and kidney cells, but in almost all organs of the human body. Therefore, the effect of PTH obviously cannot be limited to the regulation of bone and mineral metabolism. Systemic symptoms of hyperparathyroidism also became more understandable and explicable by the results of studies on the extraskeletal effects of PTH. Despite the intensive research, the mechanisms of PTH-mediated effects are not well understood in a number of areas. Therefore, it is of great importance to perform further studies in this field, which will hopefully expand our knowledge soon. In our current work, we aim to summarise the nonclassical, extraskeletal effects of PTH (that is, those not related to the regulation of bone metabolism and kidney function) and the results of related studies.]

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