Context: Osteoporosis is common in adults after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). The data on bone mineral density (BMD) in children after HCT are limited. Objective: The objective of the study was to determine the incidence, timing, magnitude, and possible predictors of bone loss in children after HCT. Patients and Design: The study population included 49 patients (age 5-18 yr) who were eligible to receive HCT at the University of Minnesota. The patients were evaluated at baseline, 100 d, 6 months, and 1 yr after HCT. Lumbar BMD (LBMD) was assessed by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Results: The number of patients with osteopenia increased from 18% at baseline to 33% 1 yr after HCT, and with osteoporosis from 16-19%. Mean areal LBMD z-score decreased from -0.56 to -1.1 by 6 months (n = 27) and at 1 yr was -0.94 (n = 21), which was significant compared with standard normal distribution (P = 0.004 and P = 0.022, respectively). The absolute loss of bone mineral corresponded to a 5.3% reduction in areal LBMD and a 4.8% reduction in volumetric LBMD. The level of bone-specific alkaline phosphatase decreased by 30% by d 100 (P = 0.009), followed by recovery toward baseline by 6 months. The level of osteocalcin greater than 6.5 ng/ml at d 100 predicted recovery from the initial bone loss by 1 yr. A reduction in LBMD at 6 months correlated with a cumulative dose of glucocorticoids. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that bone loss is common in children after HCT and is primarily due to suppression of bone formation. Further studies are necessary to validate osteocalcin as a predictive biomarker.