Introduction: Patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) are known to be at risk for early osteoporosis, and the mechanisms that mediate bone loss are still being delineated. The aim of the present investigation was to investigate if a correlation exists in these patients between skeletal measurements by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and two anabolic factors, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), and proresorptive factors such as the cytokines interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor α, and interleukin-6. Methods: We studied 32 outpatients (18 females; mean age: 26.2 ± 7.9 years) at a tertiary care medical center. The subjects had venous samples obtained, underwent anthropometric and bone mineral density (BMD) measurements, and completed a health survey. Serum IGF-I concentrations were below the age-adjusted mean in 78% of the participants, and DHEA sulfate (DHEAS) concentrations were low in 72%. Serum concentrations of all cytokines were on the low side of normal; nonetheless, there was a modest inverse correlation between IL-1β and BMD at all sites. Results: In univariate analyses, IGF-I and DHEAS were significant correlates of BMD or bone mineral content. In final multivariate models controlling for anthropometric and other variables of relevance to bone density, only IGF-I was identified as a significant independent skeletal predictor. While alterations in DHEAS, IGF-I, and specific cytokines may contribute to skeletal deficits in patients with CF, of these factors a low IGF-I concentration appears to be most strongly correlated with BMD. Conclusions: These findings may have therapeutic implications for enhancing bone density in these patients.
- Bone mineral density
- Cystic fibrosis
- Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry
- Insulin-like growth factor I
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