Osteoporosis in Patients with Pemphigus Vulgaris before Steroid Therapy

Abstract: Pemphigus Vulgaris (PV) is often complicated by osteoporosis. Although corticosteroid therapy undoubtedly plays a causative role, inflammation associated with PV may also contribute to osteoporosis. This study was designed to determine the prevalence of osteoporosis in patients with PV before corticosteroid therapy and to compare these findings with those reported previously in healthy volunteers. Newly diagnosed patients with PV who had not received systemic corticosteroids were enrolled. Bone mineral density (BMD) was measured both in the lumbar spine (L1-L4) and hip region. Data were compared with those of a healthy Iranian population. The association between the disease duration and severity and BMD was evaluated. A total of 50 patients (27 women) with a mean age of 42.6±14.5 years were enrolled. Osteoporosis was seen in 7 (14%) patients, 3 (11.1%) women, 4 (17.4%) men, and in both genders it was more common when compared to the population of healthy Iranians (8.2% in women and 4.9% in men). Osteopenia was found in 26 (52%) patients, 13 women and 13 men. Although both osteopenia and osteoporosis were more common in severe disease, neither the duration nor the severity of PV showed a statistically significant association with osteopenia or osteoporosis. The presence of a higher than expected rate of osteoporosis in patients with PV argues for osteoporosis screening and efforts aimed at prevention and early initiation of treatment to prevent unnecessary morbidity. © 2014 Tehran University of Medical Sciences. All rights reserved. Acta Medica Iranica, 2014;51( ):00-00. Keywords: Pemphigus; Osteopenia; Osteoporosis; Bone densitometry; Corticosteroid