Serologic bone markers for predicting development of osteonecrosis of the jaw in patients receiving bisphosphonates

Towy Sorel Lazarovici, Shlomit Mesilaty-Gross, Iris Vered, Clara Pariente, Hannah Kanety, Navot Givol, Ran Yahalom, Shlomo Taicher, Noam Yarom*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Purpose: Osteonecrosis of the jaw is a well-documented side effect of bisphosphonate (BP) use. Attempts have recently been made to predict the development of bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (BRONJ). We prospectively investigated the predictive value of serum levels of C-terminal telopeptide of collagen I (CTX), bone-specific alkaline phosphatase, and parathyroid hormone for the development of BRONJ. Patients and Methods: Data on the demographics, comorbidities, and BP treatment were collected from 78 patients scheduled for dentoalveolar surgery. Of the 78 patients, 51 had been treated with oral BPs and 27 had been treated with frequent intravenous infusions of BPs. Blood samples for CTX, bone-specific alkaline phosphatase, and parathyroid hormone measurements were taken preoperatively. Surgery was performed conservatively, and antibiotic medications were prescribed for 7 days. Results: Of the 78 patients, 4 patients taking oral BPs (7.8%) and 14 receiving intravenous BPs (51.8%) developed BRONJ. A CTX level less than 150 pg/mL was significantly associated with BRONJ development, with an increased odds ratio of 5.268 (P = .004). The bone-specific alkaline phosphatase levels were significantly lower in patients taking oral BPs who developed BRONJ. The parathyroid hormone levels were similar in patients who did and did not develop BRONJ. Conclusion: The incidence of BRONJ after oral surgery involving bone is greater among patients receiving frequent, intravenous infusions of BPs than among patients taking oral BPs. Although the measurement of serum levels of CTX is not a definitive predictor of the development of BRONJ, it might have an important role in the risk assessment before oral surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2241-2247
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2010


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