Learn About Osteitis Fibrosa

What is the definition of Osteitis Fibrosa?

Osteitis fibrosa is a complication of hyperparathyroidism, a condition in which certain bones become abnormally weak and deformed.

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What are the alternative names for Osteitis Fibrosa?

Osteitis fibrosa cystica; Hyperparathyroidism - osteitis fibrosa; Brown tumor of bone

What are the causes of Osteitis Fibrosa?

The parathyroid glands are 4 tiny glands in the neck. These glands produce parathyroid hormone (PTH). PTH helps control calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D levels in the blood and is important for healthy bones.

Too much parathyroid hormone (hyperparathyroidism) can lead to increased bone breakdown, which can cause bones to become weaker and more fragile. Many people with hyperparathyroidism eventually develop osteoporosis. Not all bones respond to PTH in the same way. Some develop abnormal areas where the bone is very soft and has almost no calcium in it. This is osteitis fibrosa.

In rare cases, parathyroid cancer causes osteitis fibrosa.

Osteitis fibrosa is now very rare in people who have hyperparathyroidism who have good access to medical care. It is more common in people who develop hyperparathyroidism at a young age, or who have untreated hyperparathyroidism for a long time.

What are the symptoms of Osteitis Fibrosa?

Osteitis fibrosa may cause bone pain or tenderness. There may be fractures (breaks) in the arms, legs, or spine, or other bone problems.

Hyperparathyroidism itself may cause any of the following:

  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Weakness
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What are the current treatments for Osteitis Fibrosa?

Most of the bone problems from osteitis fibrosa can be reversed with surgery to remove the abnormal parathyroid gland(s). Some people may choose not to have surgery, and instead be followed with blood tests and bone measurements.

If surgery is not possible, medicines can sometimes be used to lower calcium level.

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What are the possible complications of Osteitis Fibrosa?

Complications of osteitis fibrosa include any of the following:

  • Bone fractures
  • Deformities of bone
  • Pain
  • Problems due to hyperparathyroidism, such as kidney stones and kidney failure
When should I contact a medical professional for Osteitis Fibrosa?

Contact your health care provider if you have bone pain, tenderness, or symptoms of hyperparathyroidism.

How do I prevent Osteitis Fibrosa?

Routine blood tests done during a medical checkup or for another health problem usually detect a high calcium level before severe damage is done.

Parathyroid glands
What are the latest Osteitis Fibrosa Clinical Trials?
Identification of Mutations That Lead to Cherubism in Families and Isolated Cases and Studies of Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms
Summary: The goal of this research study is to identify genes and regulatory elements on chromosomes that cause cherubism. Together with the investigators collaborators the investigators also study blood samples and tissue samples from patients to learn about the processes that lead to this disorder. The long-term goal of researchers involved in this study is to find mechanisms to slow down bone resorption...
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Autotaxin in Patients With GNAS/PTH Abnormalities
Summary: PTH secretion defects (grouped under the name hypoparathyroidism) are due to abnormalities in the PTH gene, abnormalities in the development of the parathyroid glands which synthesize PTH or abnormalities of the calcium sening receptor whose role is to adapt PTH level to ambient calcium level.~In contrast, primary hyperparathyroidism in children is also exceptional; expressed by hypercalcemia, wit...
What are the Latest Advances for Osteitis Fibrosa?
Effects of zoledronic acid therapy in fibrous dysplasia of bone: a single-center experience.
Summary: Effects of zoledronic acid therapy in fibrous dysplasia of bone: a single-center experience.
Inhibition of IL-6 in the treatment of fibrous dysplasia of bone: The randomized double-blind placebo-controlled TOCIDYS trial.
Summary: Inhibition of IL-6 in the treatment of fibrous dysplasia of bone: The randomized double-blind placebo-controlled TOCIDYS trial.
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Navigation-guided nasal endoscopic surgery for acute vision loss caused by fibrous dysplasia: a case report and review of literatures.
Summary: Navigation-guided nasal endoscopic surgery for acute vision loss caused by fibrous dysplasia: a case report and review of literatures.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: May 13, 2020
Published By: Brent Wisse, MD, board certified in Metabolism/Endocrinology, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Nadol JB, Quesnel AM. Otologic manifestations of systemic disease. In: Flint PW, Francis HW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 151.

Patsch JM, Krestan CR. Metabolic and endocrine skeletal disease. In: Adam A, Dixon AK, Gillard JH, Schaefer-Prokop CM, eds. Grainger & Allison's Diagnostic Radiology. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 43.

Thakker RV. The parathyroid glands, hypercalcemia and hypocalcemia. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 232.