April 2011

Study of Charcot patients suggests BMD does not improve with time

In the moment: Rehabilitation

Research from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center suggests that, surprisingly, calcaneal bone mineral density does not improve with time following the onset of Charcot neuroarthropathy in patients with diabetes.

Investigators analyzed BMD at a single time point in 10 patients with diabetes and Charcot neuroarthropathy, eight patients with diabetes but no Charcot, and 15 controls. The mean time from Charcot onset was 54.4 months.

The researchers found a negative correlation between calcaneal BMD and time from onset, which was the opposite of what they had expected, according to Robert Greenhagen, DPM, a podiatry resident at the university, who presented the group’s findings in March at the ACFAS meeting.

Gender appeared to influence the relationship between calcaneal BMD and time from onset, but again, not in the way one might expect. The four men in the Charcot group demonstrated a large negative correlation, while BMD in the six women stayed relatively flat with respect to onset time.

BMD was also negatively correlated with age and vitamin D level — another counterintuitive finding.

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