Body composition and cardiometabolic health of pediatric patients with X-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH) under burosumab therapy

Avivit Brener*, Yael Lebenthal, Roxana Cleper, Livia Kapusta, Leonid Zeitlin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Burosumab, a recombinant anti-FGF23 monoclonal antibody, was recently introduced as a treatment for X-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH). Burosumab normalizes blood phosphate levels, thereby healing rickets, decreasing leg bowing, and reducing pain. We aimed to explore the body composition and cardiometabolic health of pediatric patients with XLH treated with burosumab. Methods: This observational real-life study was conducted on growing children and adolescents. The outcome measures included changes in sex- and age-adjusted anthropometric and body composition parameters [fat mass (FM), fat-free mass (FFM), appendicular skeletal muscle mass (ASMM), muscle-to-fat ratio (MFR)], blood pressure, laboratory evaluation, and radiographic rickets severity [Thacher Rickets Severity Score (TRSS)]. Body composition was assessed by bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). Percentiles for FFM% and ASMM% were calculated according to BIA pediatric reference curves. The delta variable was calculated as the variable at 12 months minus the variable at baseline. Results: A total of 15 pediatric patients with XLH are treated in our clinic; included in the analyses were 7 children and adolescents (3 males, mean age 8.7 ± 3.2 years) with XLH without comorbidities. Baseline BIA revealed an unfavorable physique, with increased body fat percentage in five patients and decreased muscle mass in six. Indices of lean body mass significantly increased after 6 and 12 months of treatment: FFM(kg) (p = 0.001, p = 0.046, respectively) and ASMM(kg) (p = 0.012, p = 0.034, respectively), without any significant change in FM(kg). The percentile of ASMM% increased significantly after 6 months of treatment (p = 0.006) and stabilized thereafter. TRSS improved significantly after 12 months of therapy (p = 0.005). Age was positively correlated with delta TRSS (r = 0.814, p = 0.026), and delta TRSS was negatively correlated with delta MFR (r = −0.826, p = 0.022). Conclusions: There was a heretofore unrecognized improvement in body composition of growing children and adolescents with XLH who were treated with burosumab. These findings highlight the need to initiate burosumab treatment at a younger age when rickets is less severe.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Endocrinology and Metabolism
StatePublished - 2021


  • X-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH)
  • body composition
  • burosumab therapy
  • children and adolescents
  • muscle-to-fat ratio
  • rickets severity score (RSS)


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