Detection and residence time of bisphosphonates in bone of horses

Heather K. Knych, Jennifer Janes, Laura Kennedy, Daniel S. McKemie, Rick Arthur, Monika A. Samol, Francisco A Uzal, Mary Scollay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bisphosphonates are potent anti-resorptive agents that have the potential to adversely affect bone healing in equine athletes, and normal bone adaption in young racehorses. A concern exists that bisphosphonate inhibition of normal bone metabolism could lead to increased bone fractures during high-intensity exercise. We found only a single report describing concentrations of tiludronate in the bone of horses, and no studies describing clodronate. Knowledge of the residence time in bone could allow for a better understanding of the long-term effects of these compounds. Our objectives were to develop a method for detection of bisphosphonates in bone and add to the limited information available regarding the disposition of these drugs in the bone of horses. Two horses received clodronate and 2 tiludronate disodium. Postmortem collection of bones and teeth occurred either 4 or 30 d post drug administration. Additionally, postmortem blood, synovial fluid, aqueous humor, and bone samples from racehorses with various histories of bisphosphonate administration were collected, and concentrations determined using the developed LC-MS/MS method. Bisphosphonates were detected in bones and teeth tested at 4 and 30 d. In a postmortem sample, clodronate was detected in bone from a horse with reported administration 18 mo prior; clodronate was not detected in other sample types collected from this horse. Bisphosphonates reside in bone for extended periods of time, which could lead to potential long-term effects, increasing the potential for bone fractures in young and/or athletic horses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-27
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • bisphosphonates
  • clodronate
  • horses
  • tiludronate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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