Mechanical evaluation of bone samples following alendronate therapy in healthy male dogs

Kenneth J. Fischer, Thomas H.H. Vikoren, Susan Ney, Charles Kovach, Carl Hasselman, Mauli Agrawal, Harry Rubash, Arun S. Shanbhag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Alendronate and other bisphosphonates are clinically efficacious in treating postmenopausal osteoporosis, Paget's disease and hypercalcemia associated with malignancy. Because bisphosphonates are being considered for use in younger patients with joint replacements to prevent osteolysis, and for stress fracture prophylaxis in military recruits, it is important to know how bisphosphonate therapy affects healthy bone. We sought to determine whether bones from healthy male dogs exhibit alterations in structural or mechanical properties following alendronate treatment for 23 weeks. We tested trabecular tissue samples in compression and determined tissue ash density. We tested whole long bones in bending and torsion. For trabecular samples, we evaluated trabecular modulus, strength, and density. For whole bone specimens, we compared structural stiffness and ultimate load. We found no significant differences in any measure, between canines treated with alendronate for 23 weeks and controls, although we found consistent trends toward higher properties in the treated group. Correlation analysis revealed significant relationships between stiffness and strength measures for each mechanical test. Our results indicate bisphosphonate treatment in healthy canines does not weaken the properties of bone. The trends indicate a slight positive overall effect of alendronate treatment on the mechanical properties of healthy canine bone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-148
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part B Applied Biomaterials
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006


  • Alendronate
  • Biomechanics
  • Bisphosphonate
  • Bone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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