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Role of dual energy X-ray absorptiometry in monitoring fracture healing in a rat femoral fracture model

Li, W.; Zhao, G.-f.; Xu, S.-w.; Wang, J.-w.; Zhou, Y.-f.; Liu, J.

Chinese Journal of Traumatology 8(2): 121-125

2005


ISSN/ISBN: 1008-1275
PMID: 15769313
Accession: 050233061

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To dynamically monitor the bone mineral density (BMD) and the histomorphological changes during fracture healing in a rat femoral fracture model and to explore the role of dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) in evaluating bone fracture healing. Sixty three-month-old female Sprague Dawley rats were used to establish right femoral fracture models. The BMD of the callus of the fractured right femur were scanned by DEXA at 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 weeks after operation, respectively. A light microscope was used to evaluate the callus of each rat at the same time. The corresponding segment of the left femur was taken as a control. The BMD at the fractured site increased significantly during the process of fracture healing, which shows an obvious healing trend. The callus BMDs were 29.5%, 48.3%, 85.3%, and 105.2% of the BMD of the control limb at 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks after fracture, respectively. There was a significantly difference between the groups. A compatibility on time was found between the BMD and the histomorphological characteristics at the fractured site during the process of fracture healing. The fracture healing was almost completed at 8 weeks after fracture as assessed by its histomorphological characteristics when the callus BMD reached to 105.2% of the BMD of the control limb. The BMD of the distal metaphysis decreased until 12 weeks after fracture. DEXA can evaluate the mineralization of the callus during the fracture healing process accurately and quantitatively and is more sensitive than plain radiography in detecting impaired bone unions, which indicates that it may play an important role in monitoring fracture healing.

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