Imaging Technology Could Help Explain Bone Damage In Chronic Kidney Disease

According to an article from Medical Xpress, doctors are starting to conduct CT scans of children’s bones in order to better understand the origin of bone problems in long term illnesses such as chronic kidney disease. The ultimate goal is to understand the best way to treat this underlying problem so that the patients do not develop more serious bone problems such as osteoporosis later on in life.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is just one of many diseases that can appear in childhood, and this period is essential for the development of a strong and durable skeletal structure.  You can learn more about chronic kidney disease by clicking here.

As the body grows, the bones are constantly enlarging and reshaping, but this process of development also means that the bones are more vulnerable to the effects of chronic illness. There is essentially no way to repair damage to bone caused by these diseases. Advances in treatment mean that people with diseases that previously shortened life span are now living much longer, which makes long term health of bones that much more important.

As muscles grow and strengthen, bones respond to the increasing forces by strengthening and growing as well, but if a child is stuck in bed due to illness, the lack of activity can stall bone strengthening and lead to poor growth. Kids with chronic kidney disease are often physically smaller and shorter than their healthy peers. Vitamin D and growth hormone supplements are already part of regular treatment for the disease, but researchers are confident that therapies could be tailored further in order to make the differences in growth disappear or at least lessen in disparity.

A high resolution CT scan can reveal the structural changes that can cause bone weakness which allows doctors to understand what treatments or disease effects cause a certain type of damage. Doctors can identify the differences in bone damage from vitamin D deficiency versus heavy steroid use, for example. Researchers are using the high definition scans in order to build a database that doctors can use in order to determine what is causing bone damage in children with CKD and other diseases.

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