Journal Article

Low serum levels of alkaline phosphatase of bone origin: a good marker of adynamic bone disease in haemodialysis patients

M. M. Couttenye, P. C. D'Haese, V. O. Van Hoof, E. Lemoniatou, W. Goodman, G. A. Verpooten and M. E. De Broe

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 11, issue 6, pages 1065-1072
Published in print June 1996 | ISSN: 0931-0509
e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Low serum levels of alkaline phosphatase of bone origin: a good marker of adynamic bone disease in haemodialysis patients

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Adynamic bone disease was recently described to be increasingly prevalent in the dialysis population. At present the diagnosis of this type of renal osteodystrophy can only be made by bone histomorphometry. We assessed the value of different biochemical serum markers in the diagnosis of adynamic bone disease.


In 103 haemodialysis patients a bone biopsy was performed after double tetracycline labelling, the serum levels of intact PTH, osteocalcin, and the bone isoenzyme of alkaline phosphatase were determined. Bone alkaline phosphatase was measured an optimized agarose gel electrophoretic method, recently shown to have a high accuracy, precision and reproducibility, also in the lower range.


In 38 (37%) of the patients the diagnosis of adynamic bone disease was histologically established. Constructing receiver operator curves optimal cut-off levels for the diagnosis of adynamic bone disease were determined, being ≤27 U/litre for the bone isoenzyme of alkaline phosphatase, ≤14 μg/litre for osteocalcin and ≤150 pg/ml for intact PTH. Concentrations of bone alkaline phosphatase or intact PTH below these cut-off levels, were shown to be the best performing tests in the detection of adynamic bone disease as indicated by a sensitivity of 78.1 and 80.6% and a specificity of 86.4 and 76.2% respectively. Applying Bayes' theorema, it was calculated that in the current haemodialysis population in which a prevalence adynamic bone disease up to 35% has been described, the positive predictive values for the proposed cut-off values are 75% for bone alkaline phosphatase, 65% for intact PTH and 55% for osteocalcin. Moreover, in this population, levels of bone alkaline phosphatase and intact PTH below the optimal cut-off excluded hyperparathyroid bone disease.


In view of the relative easy and accurate methodology for bone alkaline phosphatase determination, the closer physiological link with osteoblast function and the lesser expense for its determination we suggest that this marker is a useful tool in the non-invasive diagnosis of the adynamic type of bone disease in the individual patient.

Keywords: adynamic bone disease; bone alkaline phosphatase; haemodialysis; osteocalcin; parathyroid hormone

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Nephrology

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