How is osteoporosis differentiated from osteomalacia?

Updated: Jan 20, 2021
  • Author: Rachel Elizabeth Whitaker Elam, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Osteoporosis may be confused with osteomalacia, but in osteoporosis the bones are porous and brittle, whereas in osteomalacia the bones are soft. This difference in bone consistency is related to the ratio of mineral to organic material (principally, collagen). In osteoporosis, the mineral-to-collagen ratio is within the reference range, whereas in osteomalacia, the proportion of mineral composition is reduced relative to organic matrix content.

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