A recent Emory University School of Medicine study shows that one dose of zoledronic acid could prevent bone loss among patients with HIV infections and with antiretroviral therapy (ART).
The prevented bone loss typically rises throughout the first two years of receiving ART. This bone loss results in higher rates of bone fractures among people with HIV infections.
Scientists evaluated 343 patients ranging from 30 to 50 years old who have HIV infections but no history of other immunological illnesses or osteoporosis. They also had normal levels of vitamin D and calcium. They were tested for normal CBC and blood chemistry profiles.
The scientists measured osteocalcin (an indicator of bone formation) and bone loss. They also included a bone marrow density scan. The patients were randomly divided into different groups, receiving ART with a placebo or ART with zoledronic acid. The acid correlated with a 73 percent and 65 percent decrease in bone loss.
"We are encouraged that our protocol was able to prevent bone loss in HIV patients on ART therapy," Dr. Igho Ofotokun, an Emory associate professor of medicine, said. "These effects occurred early and last through 48 weeks, which is the period when ART-induced bone loss is most intense. This could be an opportunity for effective prophylaxis for preventing bone loss."