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Journal of Transplantation
Volume 2014, Article ID 269613, 6 pages
Clinical Study

Alendronate as an Effective Treatment for Bone Loss and Vascular Calcification in Kidney Transplant Recipients

Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, Wakayama Medical University, 811-1 Kimiidera, Wakayama City, Wakayama 641-0012, Japan

Received 21 November 2013; Accepted 15 January 2014; Published 19 February 2014

Academic Editor: Bruce Kaplan

Copyright © 2014 Masanori Okamoto et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Kidney transplant recipients develop secondary osteoporosis induced by immunosuppressive medication, with a high risk of fracture, and abdominal aortic calcification (AC) is a known predictor of cardiovascular mortality. In this study of 12 stable kidney recipients, we estimated the preventive effect of bisphosphonate treatment on bone loss and progression of AC. We randomly divided the subjects into a treatment group with alendronate (group A: 5 subjects) and a control group (group C: 7 subjects). Group A patients received 35 mg/week of alendronate over 24 months, while group C patients were not administered with any bisphosphonates. Two major endpoints were established: (1) the time-dependent change in bone mineral density (BMD) estimated with DEXA and (2) progression of abdominal AC, calculated twice as an index (ACI) using computed tomography data. Over the 2-year study period, group A patients showed significantly increased BMD of 1.86 ± 0.85% ( versus baseline), and almost complete inhibition of ACI progression (38.2 ± 24.2% to 39.6 ± 24.3%), but group C patients showed a decrease in BMD decline with bone loss and progression of ACI (32.8 ± 25.0% to 37.8 ± 29.2%, ). In conclusion, alendronate therapy was an effective treatment in kidney transplant recipients for secondary osteoporosis and vascular calcification as ectopic calcification. This clinical trial is registered with number JMA-IIA00155 of JMACCT CTR.