First name
Middle name
Cristina Gil
Last name


A quality improvement project to address the challenges surrounding zoledronic acid use in children.

Year of Publication


Date Published

2021 Apr 07

ISSN Number



<p><strong>INTRODUCTION: </strong>Zoledronic acid (ZA) is an intravenous bisphosphonate used to treat pediatric osteoporosis. Adverse events including hypocalcemia and acute phase reaction (APR) are common following first-infusion. The purpose of this report is to describe implementation of a ZA clinical practice guideline and the subsequent process changes to improve adherence to aspects of the protocol related to safety and efficacy.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>Quality assurance was evaluated by chart review over a 5-year period to compare the prevalence of hypocalcemia and APR to published data. A quality improvement (QI) initiative consisting of process changes including the addition of an endocrine RN to coordinate infusions and a shift to patient/family self-scheduling of infusions was conducted. The effect of the interventions on safety (completion of pre- and post-infusion bloodwork) and efficacy (receipt of all prescribed infusions) outcomes was evaluated.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Seventy-two patients received 244 infusions over the period. The frequency of hypocalcemia (22%) and APR (31%) was consistent with prior reports. 99% of patients received pre-infusion bloodwork, 78% received post-first-infusion bloodwork, and 47% received all prescribed infusions. QI initiatives increased the percentage of patients receiving post-first-infusion bloodwork from 67 to 79% and those receiving all infusions from 62 to 74%, but fell short of the goal of 90%.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>The implementation of a standardized protocol for ZA use in children was successful in confirming patient eligibility with pre-infusion bloodwork but failed to ensure that patients obtained post-first-infusion bloodwork and received all prescribed infusions. Further efforts to systematize the management of children on ZA are needed.</p>



Alternate Title

J Bone Miner Metab




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