Corticosteroid-induced osteoporosis in patients with uveitis

NP Jones, LC Anderton, FM Cheong, A Whallett, MR Stanford, Philip Murray, S Lesnik-Oberstein, C Pavesio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


AIMS: To estimate the prevalence of low bone density and osteoporosis in a population of patients with uveitis taking systemic steroid treatment; to clarify the risks of steroid-induced fracture and to suggest a protocol for the prevention and management of bone loss in patients with ophthalmic inflammatory disease. METHODS: Bone densitometry was performed on 129 adult patients with prednisolone-treated uveitis from four centres. Information on uveitis diagnosis, associated risk factors, steroid dosage and treatment duration, prophylaxis and management, was collected. Juveniles, patients with scleritis and those who had used deflazacort, were excluded. RESULTS: Steroid treatment time varied from 13 weeks to 31 years, and the total dosage from 1.29 g to 166.5 g. Twenty-six percent of patients also used one or more immunosuppressives. Forty-eight percent had additional risk factors for bone loss. Bone density was abnormally low in 44.2%, and 15.5% had osteoporosis. Osteoporosis was substantially more common in males (20.6%, all under 60 yrs) than in females (9.8%). Seven symptomatic fractures occurred in patients on treatment. Bone loss correlated with total steroid dose, mean dose, duration of treatment and the presence of pre-existing risk factors. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of steroid-induced osteoporosis and fracture is low for patients with uveitis but young males are at risk. Patients at high risk should be identified, and prophylaxis and treatment should be used as required. The guideline of the National Osteoporosis Society is recommended as a management protocol.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)587-93
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002


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