What is osteomalacia?

Osteomalacia is an abnormality of mineralization (M) that is characterized by an excess of unmineralized osteoid, manifested as wide osteoid seams and a markedly decreased mineralization rate.

The presence of increased unmineralized osteoid per se does not necessarily indicate a mineralizing defect, because increased quantities of osteoid appear in conditions associated with high rates of bone formation when mineralization lags behind the increased synthesis of matrix.

Other features of osteomalacia include the absence of cell activity and the absence of endosteal fibrosis; there is normal or decreased osteoid volume and decreased mineralization.

Frequently, aluminum disease is associated with osteomalacia. Serum PTH is, in general, normal or low, and hypercalcemia is common. Looser zones or pseudofractures are radiologic characteristics.


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