Zoledronate is a promising bisphosphonate that improves the bone mineral density by 0.69 standard deviations in thalassemia-induced osteoporosis, but the entire range of its actions and side effects is currently not fully understood. INTRODUCTION: Zoledronate is a promising bisphosphonate for the treatment of thalassemia-induced osteoporosis; however, a quantitative summary of its beneficial effect and its effects on the markers of bone turnover are not established. METHODS: We conducted a meta-analysis of the published randomized controlled trials using standardized mean difference and a random effects model for improvement in bone mineral density (BMD). We also conducted a systematic review for the influence of zoledronate on markers of bone turnover and bone pain. RESULTS: We found that zoledronate improves the baseline BMD by 0.69 (95% confidence interval 0.47-0.90) standard deviations-an effect that was more pronounced when BMD was measured at the lumbar spine. However, the mechanistic interpretations of the effects on the markers of bone turnover are not completely clear. CONCLUSION: Sufficient evidence exists to demonstrate that 4 mg zoledronate given every 3 months markedly improves the BMD; however, more qualitative and quantitative evidence is required to understand the mechanisms of its action and the potential side effects.
Osteoporos Int. 2009 Feb 26. [Epub ahead of print]
By: Mamtani M, Kulkarni H