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In bone physiology, the N-terminal telopeptide (or more formally, amino-terminal collagen crosslinks, and known by the acronym NTX) is a telopeptide that can be used as a biomarker to measure the rate of bone turnover. NTX can be measured in the urine (uNTX) or serum (serum NTX).
Evaluating an individual's rate of bone turnover, termed bone remodeling, directly may be important in assessing his or her potential nonsurgical treatment response as well as evaluating his or her risk of developing complications during healing following surgical intervention. To determine an individual's rate of bone turnover, numerous biomarkers are available in the body fluids that can be correlated to this rate, and one such biomarker is NTX.
However, while NTX does fluctuate in a very sensitive manner in line with bone resorption patterns, they are not very specific, in that they may vary spontaneously without physiologic intervention. For example, NTX levels may drop by 50% from day to day with no treatment, thus, making NTX levels unconvincing evidence of treatment effect.
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