Article Text


Bone turnover in non-steroid treated rheumatoid arthritis.
  1. J E Compston,
  2. S Vedi,
  3. P I Croucher,
  4. N J Garrahan,
  5. M M O'Sullivan
  1. Department of Rheumatology, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, United Kingdom.


    OBJECTIVE--To examine whether changes in cancellous bone turnover and resorption cavity depth contribute to bone loss in patients with non-steroid treated rheumatoid arthritis. METHODS--Iliac crest biopsies were obtained from 37 patients with non-steroid treated rheumatoid arthritis, 13 male and 24 female, aged 37-71 years. Bone turnover and resorption cavity characteristics were quantitatively assessed using semiautomated computerised techniques. RESULTS--When compared with age- and sex-matched control values, there was a significant reduction in bone formation rate at tissue level and activation frequency (P < 0.001) in the patient group. The eroded perimeter, mean and maximum eroded depth and cavity area were also significantly reduced (P < 0.01, < 0.005, < 0.01 and < 0.005 respectively). CONCLUSION--These results demonstrate low bone turnover in non-steroid treated rheumatoid arthritis and indicate that the reduced bone mass in these patients is due mainly to a negative remodelling balance.

    Statistics from

    Request permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.