Etiology, assessment, and management of aromatase inhibitor-related musculoskeletal symptoms

So Hyun Park, M. Tish Knobf, Karen M. Sutton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Aromatase inhibitors (Als) are recommended as adjuvant endocrine therapy for postmenopausal women with hormone-responsive breast cancer. With the widespread use of At adjuvant endocrine therapy, a significant profile of musculoskeletal symptoms has emerged. Moderate to severe musculoskeletal symptoms have led some women to discontinue therapy, compromising the survival benefit. The etiology of Al-related musculoskeletal symptoms is poorly understood, which challenges development of effective management strategies. The purpose of this article is to describe Al-related musculoskeletal symptoms, review possible causes, provide assessment guidelines, and recommend management strategies based on the best available evidence. Little evidence exists for effective management strategies of Al-related musculoskeletal symptoms, and randomized clinical trials are needed to establish effective interventions. A thorough musculoskeletal assessment can help guide clinical decision making for the best individual management approach. Providers need to manage symptoms with the best available evidence to minimize symptom distress and maximize adherence to AI therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-266
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Journal of Oncology Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012


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