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.