Osteogenesis imperfecta: Questions and answers

Jay R. Shapiro, Paul D. Sponsellor

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: Considerable attention has recently been focused on the pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of osteogenesis imperfecta. Two new genes have been defined in patients with recessive severe or lethal osteogenesis imperfecta types. Diagnostic concerns involve testing procedures, either skin biopsies or DNA analysis. Bisphosphonates have been accepted as 'standard of care' for children with osteogenesis imperfecta. However, questions remain as to the selection of patients for treatment, effectiveness in fracture prevention, which bisphosphonates should be used and the duration of treatment. Orthopedic intervention occurs on several levels: including the immediate treatment of fractures, the treatment of scoliosis and the use of intramedullary rods. Recent findings: The discovery of mutations involving CRTAP and LEPRE1 genes in severe/lethal and recessively inherited osteogenesis imperfecta has provided partial answers to questions about 'other' osteogenesis imperfecta genes in patients with an osteogenesis imperfecta phenotype but no COL1A1 and COL1A2 mutations. Current experience suggests that DNA analysis is a better test for diagnosis as compared with dermal biopsy. There are no standardized guidelines for initiating bisphosphonate treatment in children. Recent data suggest either intravenous or oral bisphosphonates are effective, but differences exist between different bisphosphonates. Two recent reports document the paucity of evidence-based data regarding the effectiveness of bisphosphonate treatment in fracture prevention. Summary: This report will update the medical and orthopedic approaches to care for children with osteogenesis imperfecta.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)709-716
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent opinion in pediatrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • Bisphosphonate
  • Collagen
  • Osteogenesis imperfecta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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