We aimed to improve bone health management of children with Cerebral Palsy (CP) by reviewing studies investigating bisphosphonate therapy in children with CP and other types of secondary osteoporosis.
We included trials on bisphosphonate treatment reporting any direct bone measurement or fracture outcome. All studies of patients with CP were included. We also included all controlled trials of children with secondary bone fragility as well as observational studies with ≥20 participants or at least three years of follow-up. Studies were assessed according to PRISMA guidelines using the RoB2-tool and the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale.
We reviewed 1,004 studies and found 38 eligible. Some studies were sufficiently homogeneous to include in a meta-analysis and we found a one-year effect on lumbar spine bone mineral density (BMD) Z-score of +0.65 after oral and +1.21 after intravenous bisphosphonates in children with secondary osteoporosis. Further, data on adverse events and post-treatment follow-up were reviewed. Limitations were heterogeneity and small size of the included studies.
Meta-analysis consistently showed significant BMD increases with bisphosphonates in children with secondary osteoporosis. Direct evidence of the effect of bisphosphonates on reducing fractures is lacking. We found no reports of long-term adverse events yet longer studies are needed.