Renal osteodystrophy occurs in the setting of chronic kidney disease, and is associated with imbalance of calcium, phosphorus, parathyroid hormone, calcitriol metabolism, and the process of bone mineralization, since the kidneys are not capable of maintaining proper levels of electrolytes. It is most commonly seen in patients with renal replacement therapy and kidney failure, and the diagnosis is established through evaluation of hormones and electrolytes. Therapy is aimed at correcting electrolytes along with supportive measures.
This condition follows a chronic course. Symptoms related to the condition itself may not be apparent for years. Usually, skeletal symptoms such as bone and joint pain, limited mobility, as well as bone deformities and pathological fractures should indicate that there is an underlying issue with bone mineralization and factors responsible for maintenance of the skeletal system. These symptoms may appear more rapidly in children who are suffering from kidney failure, because bone growth and development is more pronounced, and any malformations and alterations can be more easily observed.
In addition to osteomalacia, and other bone-related symptoms, patients who are on hemodialysis may experience symptoms such as anemia, dialysis-related dementia, characterized by memory loss, hallucinations, and possibly seizures, which should immediately point to aluminum toxicity. Aluminum-based phosphate binders are a part of hemodialysis, and patients may be exposed to toxic concentrations.
Entire Body System
[…] bones Lucent metaphyseal bands - Growth zone changes are the best indicator of severity of secondary hyperparathyroidism Bowing of long bones Rugger Jersey spine - Osteosclerosis of the end plates of the vertebral bodies Brown Tumor (rare) - Rib or jaw Amyloidosis [gait.aidi.udel.edu]
Amyloidosis may cause erosion in and around a joint, resulting in subtle radiographic signs that are more clearly delineated with cross-sectional imaging techniques such as CT.  MRI helps evaluate the soft tissues for ligament rupture, and CT can [emedicine.com]
Giant cell lesions of hyperparathyroidism, referred to as brown tumors (which may be associated with pain and swelling), are the key clinical oral manifestations and are the most dramatic dental radiographic finding in patients with renal osteodystrophy [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
She had no history of trauma, or of swelling or redness of the affected joints. She has a past history of gout, congestive heart failure, subendocardial myocardial infarction and anemia. [med.harvard.edu]
Thus, CKD-related fractures can be considered a type of osteoporosis-where the bone quality is additionally impaired above that of age/hormonal-related osteoporosis. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
CKD osteoporosis is distinctly different from post-menopausal osteoporosis. Presently, no uniformly accepted CKD osteoporosis treatment protocol exists because of challenges related to racially specific bone turnover states. [clinicaltrials.gov]
Definition / general Skeletal changes of chronic renal disease (see also hyperparathyroidism ) Increased osteoclastic bone resorption resembling osteitis fibrosa cystica Associated with osteomalacia, osteosclerosis, growth retardation, osteoporosis Back [pathologyoutlines.com]
Osteosclerosis, osteoporosis, and osteomalacia may all occur; hence the sobriquet “active bones disease.” [radiologykey.com]
- Bone Pain
Renal osteodystrophy is a process whereby renal failure causes profound bone disease. Effects on bone include osteosclerosis, osteomalacia, osteoporosis, pathologic fractures, aseptic necrosis of the hips, and bone pain. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Bone pain with or without fracture. Ectopic calcifications in the conjunctiva and skin. Slipped capital femoral epiphysis may also occur. [gait.aidi.udel.edu]
It is also characterized by arthralgias, bone cysts, pathological fractures and visceral involvement. Radiographically, juxta-articular lucent bone cysts may be seen. [gamma.wustl.edu]
With marked hyperparathyroidism there may be arthralgias, bone pains and deformity, neuropathy and marrow fibrosis with anaemia despite sufficient erythropoietin. 12 These patients have an increased risk of fracture. [nps.org.au]
Although CT examination is rarely used as a screening test for renal osteodystrophy, it is important to be familiar with its many appearances on CT, in order not to confuse the CT changes of renal osteodystrophy with metastatic disease, osteomyelitis, [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
[…] deposition, and fracture.  Bone biopsy is considered the gold standard for diagnosis and classification of renal osteodystrophy. [11, 12] Bone scans may reveal diffuse skeletal uptake of radiopharmaceutical with a superscan appearance that can be confused [emedicine.com]
- Kidney Failure
Chronic kidney disease (CKD), and end-stage kidney disease - renal failure, can be accompanied with numerous disorders, one of them being renal osteodystrophy. [symptoma.com]
This give-and-take response works well until kidney failure begins to occur. What happens to PTH when kidneys fail? There are several reasons why an increase in PTH is common with kidney failure. As blood phosphorus levels rise, so do PTH levels. [davita.com]
In a patient with kidney failure, the kidneys stop making calcitriol, a form of vitamin D. The body then can't absorb calcium from food and starts removing it from the bones. [rxlist.com]
[…] osteodystrophy [ os″te-o-dis´trŏ-fe ] abnormal development of bone. renal osteodystrophy a condition due to chronic kidney disease and renal failure, marked by impaired vitamin D metabolism, elevated serum phosphorus levels, low or normal serum calcium [medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com]
In a patient with kidney failure, the kidneys stop making calcitriol. The body then can't absorb calcium from food and starts removing it from the bones. [medic8.com]
The diagnosis of renal osteodystrophy comprises a full electrolyte workup, focusing on the levels of calcium and phosphorus, as well as PTH and vitamin D. Usually, serum calcium levels are low, phosphorus levels are high, values of PTH may be elevated, or sometimes decreased, and vitamin D levels are always low. Serum alkaline phosphatase level should also be evaluated, since it may be elevated in hyperparathyroidism .
In addition to serum values of hormones and electrolytes, kidney function should be thoroughly evaluated by obtaining serum creatinine, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), urinalysis, Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and looking for proteinuria.
- Rugger-Jersey Spine
The "rugger jersey" spine occurring in the usual osteosclerosis of renal osteodystrophy has been consistently absent in this variant. Osteonecrosis should be excluded in making the diagnosis of "bone end sclerosis." [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Plain radiographs of the lumbosacral spine showed sclerosis of the upper and lower thirds of the vertebral bodies giving the "rugger - jersey" spine. There were also vertebral marginal osteophytes. [smjonline.org]
RADIOGRAPHIC EVALUATION: Osteopenia, subcortical resorption, lucent metaphyseal bands, widening of metaphysis and "rugger jersey spine". [gait.aidi.udel.edu]
[…] in 60% with dense end-plates produce appearance of rugger-jersey (rugger jersey spine) Rugger-jersey spine in Renal osteodystrophy o Also in pelvis, ribs, long bones, facial bones, base of skull (children) o Prognosis § May increase/regress after renal [learningradiology.com]
"salt and pepper" skull. subperiosteal resorption "rugger jersey" spine—sclerosis of the vertebral body end plates. [en.wikibooks.org]
- Parathyroid Hormone Increased
In advanced stages, blood tests will indicate decreased calcium and calcitriol (vitamin D) and increased phosphate, and parathyroid hormone levels. [en.wikipedia.org]
- Alkaline Phosphatase Increased
Review Topic QID: 4397 1 Decreased calcium, increased serum phosphate, increased alkaline phosphatase, increased parathyroid hormone 2 Decreased calcium, decreased serum phosphate, increased alkaline phosphatase, increased parathyroid hormone 3 Increased [orthobullets.com]
Since chronic kidney disease is associated with significant morbidity and mortality, and current therapeutic principles only imply maintenance and replacement therapy, the goal of treatment in renal osteodystrophy is to try to establish a somewhat acceptable electrolyte balance, and reduce the severity of bone disease, while attempting to reduce further damage to the kidneys. Strategies to correct electrolytes, as well as hormone levels include:
- Phosphorus restriction and correction - Since hyperphosphatemia is always observed in this condition, dietary restriction of phosphorus is recommended, according to the grade and severity of chronic kidney disease (for example, recommended daily intake of phosphorus should be 800-1000 mg for adults with stage five CKD, or end-stage renal disease) . Additionally, many patients with CKD, and virtually all hemodialysis patients require administration of oral phosphate binders, such as Ca acetate and Ca carbonate, in doses of 6-15 g/day. They should be taken with meals, because they can bind phosphorus more effectively . Ca acetate is preferred over Ca carbonate in patients who are taking histamine 2 receptor antagonists, or proton pump inhibitors , as they are able to dissolve in both acid and alkaline environments, while Ca carbonate dissolves only in acidic pH. Non Ca salts such as sevelamer, are also used. Aluminum-based binders were used, but due to their potential toxicity, their efficacy is being reviewed. They are currently recommended for patients with marked elevation of serum phosphorus (> 7.0 mg/dl or 2.26 mmol/L), for a short duration. They should be then replaced by other phosphate binders.
- Restriction of Ca intake - it has been observed that use of calcium salts in patients may lead to an increased risk of hypercalcemia, as well as development of metastatic calcifications, which can pose significant cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. For these reasons, guidelines suggest that the total intake of calcium (including dietary intake) should not exceed 2000 mg/day.
- Magnesium supplementation - Magnesium levels should be monitored in patients with excessive levels of calcium which occurs in those who are taking calcium salts to reduce levels of phosphorus. Magnesium supplementation has been implicated in the treatment of hemodialysis patients in association with calcium disturbances .
- Cause-targeted treatment - Apart from electrolyte correction, the exacts cause of electrolyte disturbances, as well as abnormal levels of PTH, should be investigated and treated accordingly.
Renal osteodystrophy is a chronic condition which occurs in patients with renal failure, and since patients have chronic, irreversible, and progressive deterioration of kidney function, the prognosis is generally poor. It may vary, however, depending on the underlying cause of bone disease and associated electrolyte disturbance, but patients need life-long corrective therapy, usually through hemodialysis , along with management of other associated conditions.
Renal osteodystrophy comprises bone disease that occurs along with chronic kidney disease. Bone mineralization, as well as homeostasis of calcium and phosphorus is disturbed, which can present either as highly active (such as in osteitis fibrosa, where increased secretion of parathyroid hormone (PTH) leads to fragile and brittle bones) , or suppressed bone mineralization (as in the case of hypoparathyroidism, osteomalacia, as a result of hypocalcemia and vitamin D deficiency, but also aluminum intoxication which can occur in patients on hemodialysis). Malignant diseases should always be suspected when PTH levels are not within physiological limits, especially when hypoparathyroidism is observed. Iron levels, and siderosis have also been implicated in the pathogenesis of this disorder .
Apart from diseases which directly affect the metabolic axis of bone development, any disease which can cause chronic kidney disease can predispose individuals to renal osteodystrophy, including systemic diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), amyloidosis, hemolytic-uremic syndrome, and many others.
Children may also develop renal osteodystrophy, since severe renal impairment may be observed amongst them too especially in cases of Alport syndrome, polycystic kidney disease, and medullary cystic disease.
This condition is primarily observed amongst patients with end-stage renal disease, who are usually on hemodialysis , implying that middle aged adults, as well as the elderly, are the most common population in which this disorder can be diagnosed. However, renal failure can be observed in patients of all ages and gender, depending on the cause. Certain epidemiological studies have indicated that almost two thirds of patients are Caucasian, while almost one third of patients are African-Americans, implying a racial predilection of this disorder. It has been hypothesized that this disorder should be more common amongst females during menopause, keeping in mind that osteoporosis is much more pronounced in females, which is supposedly a risk factor. However, the disease is equally distributed amongst genders.
The pathogenesis of renal osteodystrophy involves several mechanisms. It starts with the decreased ability of the kidneys to synthesize active forms of vitamin D, calcitriol. This leads to hypocalcemia, while decreased excretion of phosphate by the kidneys, due to progressive deterioration of renal function with kidney failure and renal disease, results in hyperphosphatemia. All of these change have profound effects on the bone mineralization process, which is tightly regulated by PTH. In renal osteodystrophy, hyperparathyroidism usually occurs, as a compensatory mechanism for low calcium and high phosphorus, by mobilizing calcium stores from the bones. As the kidneys cannot maintain the electrolyte balance, hyperparathyroidism can pose a threat to the skeletal system resulting in osteomalacia. This phenomenon can be observed in osteitis fibrosa.
On the other hand, renal osteodystrophy may also occur in the setting of hypoparathyroidism, when decreased rate of bone mineralization occurs. This can also induce osteomalacia, and osteopenia, and the kidneys are not able to compensate for the electrolyte imbalance.
Prevention of renal osteodystrophy implies regular measurements of serum electrolytes, particularly calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, as well as levels of parathyroid hormone. Through regular check-ups, necessary treatment may be initiated early on, to at least try to slow the progression of kidney disease, which ultimately increases the need for hemodialysis. Dietary, as well as pharmacologic management of serum electrolytes are vital in prolonging the life of the patient, and ensuring some degree of comfort and quality of life, while preventing the early occurrence of complications which occur in renal failure.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD), and end-stage kidney disease - renal failure, can be accompanied with numerous disorders, one of them being renal osteodystrophy . It is usually associated with abnormal bone mineralization process, due to hyper (or hypo)parathyroidism, calcitriol deficiency, and hyperphosphatemia, since the kidneys are unable to form calcitriol from vitamin D, and the electrolyte shifts caused by different bone diseases cannot be corrected. It is most commonly seen in patients on renal replacement therapy, and the elderly. The diagnosis is achieved through evaluation of serum electrolytes, mainly calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D levels, as well as parathyroid, and other hormone levels, to identify the cause, and initiate proper treatment, which consists of electrolyte correction and supportive therapy. The cause can rarely be addressed, since renal failure treatment can only be supportive. However bone diseases should be investigated and treated accordingly.
Renal osteodystrophy is a disease of the bones which occurs in patients with chronic kidney disease, and it usually follows a chronic course. This disorder occurs because the kidneys are unable to compensate for the changes in electrolyte levels, principally the levels of calcium and phosphorus, due to diseases that target the skeletal system, such as abnormal production of parathyroid hormone. Due to impaired kidney function, synthesis of vitamin D cannot be fully performed. Vitamin D is an important mediator of calcium metabolism and bone growth. As mentioned, this disease is most commonly seen in patients with chronic diseases of the kidney, including those who need hemodialysis. It is equally distributed among genders, while Caucasian population comprises about two thirds of all cases. Children may also develop renal osteodystrophy if they have some hereditary conditions which predispose them to develop this disease.
Symptoms of renal osteodystrophy are usually seen in the later stages, and include bone and joint pain, as well as fractures without apparent cause, and bone deformities, which may be observed more commonly in children, because bone growth is more pronounced during this period. The diagnosis can be achieved through detailed laboratory investigations including serum electrolytes, renal function tests, and levels of parathyroid hormone. The prognosis usually depends on the cause. Unfortunately, chronic kidney disease is a progressive, and eventually fatal disease, but certain steps to prolong the quality and duration of life of the patient may be taken. These include dietary restriction of phosphorus and calcium, as high phosphorus is observed in these patients, and in more severe cases, intake of so called "phosphate binders" which prevent absorption of phosphorus from food. Other measures include correction of magnesium, since magnesium levels are almost always disturbed when calcium levels are abnormal. Management of primary disease is vital in managing renal osteodystrophy.
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