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Denosumab-induced hypocalcemia in patients with osteoporosis: can you know who will get low?

Osteoporos Int. 2019 Dec 14;: Authors: Tsvetov G, Amitai O, Shochat T, Shimon I, Akirov A, Diker-Cohen T

PURPOSE: RCTs have reported a 0.05-1.7% rate of hypocalcemia in denosumab-treated postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, but long-term real-life data are lacking. We assessed the rate of hypocalcemia in osteoporotic community-dwelling patients treated with denosumab. METHODS: A retrospective analysis was conducted based on medical records (2010-2018) from a large HMO. An albumin-adjusted serum calcium concentration lower than 8.5 mg/dL was defined as hypocalcemia. RESULTS: We included 2005 patients (93% women, mean age 76 ± 9 years). Hypocalcemia developed during treatment in 149 patients (7.4%; 1% less than 8 mg/dL): in 66 after 0.5-1 years; 48 after 1-2 years; 35 after > 2 years. On comparison of the hypocalcemic and normocalcemic patients, the strongest predictors of hypocalcemia were pretreatment levels of albumin-adjusted serum calcium (9.1 ± 0.4 vs. 9.4 ± 0.5 mg/dL, respectively; p < 0.05) and creatinine (0.9 ± 0.5 vs. 0.8 ± 0.3 mg/dL, respectively; p < 0.05). The hypocalcemia rate increased in parallel to a decrease in eGFR (p = 0.032 for the difference between eGFR ranges). Baseline calcium level ≤ 9.31 mg/dL predicted hypocalcemia with a sensitivity of 77% and specificity of 56%. A model of (- 2)*calcium + creatinine predicted hypocalcemia (3.7% when lower and 17.1% when higher than - 17.4). Gender, age, 25-hydroxyvitamin-D, parathyroid hormone, alkaline phosphatase, and whether denosumab was given as first or advanced line of osteoporotic therapy had no predictive value. CONCLUSION: Real-life rates of denosumab-induced hypocalcemia are higher than previously reported. Hypocalcemia might develop after each dose of denosumab in ongoing treatment. Adequate calcium and vitamin D supplementation are needed. Serum calcium monitoring is advised in high-risk patients for early detection of severe hypocalcemia. PMID: 31838550 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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