The use of bone biopsy for histomorphometric analysis is a quantitative histological examination aimed at obtaining quantitative information on bone remodeling, structure and microarchitecture. The labeling with tetracycline before the procedure also allows for a dynamic analysis of the osteoblastic activity and mineralization process. In the nephrological setting, bone biopsy is indicated to confirm the diagnosis of subclinical or focal osteomalacia and to characterize the different forms of renal osteodystrophy (ROD). Even if bone biopsy is the gold standard for the diagnosis and specific classification of ROD, the use of this approach is very limited. The main reasons for this are the lack of widespread expertise in performing or interpreting bone biopsy results and the cost, invasiveness and potential pain associated with the procedure. In this regard, the sedation, in addition to local anesthesia routinely applied in Italian protocol, significantly reduces pain and ameliorates the pain perception of patients. Concerning the lack of widespread expertise, in Italy a Hub/Spokes model is proposed to standardize the analyses, optimizing the approach to CKD patients and reducing the costs of the procedure. In addition, new tools offer the possibility to evaluate the osteogenic potential or the ability to form bone under normal and pathological conditions, analyzing mesenchymal stem cells and their ability to differentiate in the osteogenic lineage. In the same way, circulating microRNAs are suggested as a tool for exploring osteogenic potential. The combination of different diagnostic approaches and the optimization of the bioptic procedure represent a concrete solution to spread the use of bone biopsy and optimize CKD patient management.
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