Background: Denosumab discontinuation without subsequent bisphosphonates (BPs) is associated with bone loss and multiple vertebral fractures.
Objective: Identifying risk factors for bone loss and vertebral fractures after denosumab discontinuation.
Methods: This retrospective study measured the outcome of 219 women with osteoporosis who discontinued denosumab treatment and received subsequent treatment with zoledronate, other BPs or a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM), or no therapy. Fracture rate, longitudinal bone mineral density (BMD) changes and bone turnover markers (BTMs) within 2 years after denosumab discontinuation were analysed. Linear regression analysis evaluated loss of BMD and age, BMI (kg/m2), denosumab treatment duration, pre-treatment, prior fracture state, baseline T-scores, use of glucocorticoids or aromatase inhibitors and BMD gains under denosumab therapy.
Results: 171 women received zoledronate after denosumab discontinuation, 26 had no subsequent treatment and 22 received other therapies (other BPs or a SERM). Zoledronate was associated with the fewest vertebral fractures (hazard ratio 0.16, p = 0.02) and all subsequent therapies retained BMD at all sites to some extent. Higher BMD loss was associated with younger age, lower BMI, longer denosumab treatment, lack of prior antiresorptive treatment and BMD gain under denosumab treatment. BTM levels correlated with denosumab treatment duration and bone loss at the total hip, but not the lumbar spine.
Conclusions: Compared to no subsequent therapy, zoledronate was associated with fewer vertebral fractures after denosumab. Further, BMD loss depended on denosumab treatment duration, age, prior BP therapy and BMD gain under denosumab therapy, whereas BTM levels were associated with bone loss at the total hip and denosumab treatment duration.
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