Background: Serum tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase 5b (TRACP) is a new marker of potential clinical use to monitor osteoclastic activity and bone resorption rate. The relationship between histomorphometric parameters of bone resorption and serum TRACP was evaluated in 14 chronically dialyzed patients and 6 healthy control subjects. Methods: All patients underwent bone biopsies and serum biochemical testing for TRACP, intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH), pyridinoline cross-linked telopeptide domain of type I collagen (ICTP), total calcium, phosphorus, and albumin, which were measured at the time of biopsy. Results: Bone histological examination showed predominant hyperparathyroid bone disease (HPT) in 6 patients, mixed uremic osteodystrophy in 3 patients, low-turnover osteomalacia in 1 patient, and adynamic bone disease in 4 patients. Mean TRACP activity was 3.25 ± 0.59 U/L in control subjects. Median TRACP activity was significantly greater in patients with HPT (11.97 ± 8.92 U/L) than those with other types of renal osteodystrophy (ROD; 2.17 ± 0.61 U/L). Serum iPTH levels were greatest in all patients with HPT, but also were significantly elevated in 7 of 8 patients with other types of ROD. Serum ICTP levels also were significantly elevated in all patients with HPT and 6 of 8 patients with other types of ROD. Serum TRACP levels correlated more strongly with histological parameters of osteoclasts than those of erosion. Also, correlations between TRACP and histological parameters of osteoclasts were stronger than those of iPTH and ICTP levels. Conclusion: These early results suggest that serum TRACP levels correlate well with histological indices of osteoclasts and may serve as a specific marker for osteoclastic activity in patients with renal bone disease.
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