Osteoporosis is common before and after intestinal transplantation. Since many patients prior to transplant are malnourished, it is not uncommon for the patient to already have osteopenia or osteoporosis. A bone density scan is routine in the intestinal transplant evaluation and should be continued annually thereafter.
There are multiple therapeutic options for osteoporosis.
Non-pharmacologic therapy includes exercise, minimization of glucocorticosteroids, calcium, and vitamin D.
Pharmacologic therapy commonly used in the intestinal transplant population includes the bisphosphonate zoledronic acid (Reclast) or the monoclonal antibody denosumab (Prolia).
Other options can be discussed with the individual transplant team and/or an endocrinologist.
For more information about osteoporosis in the gastrointestinal population please visit this site.