Harry K.W. Kim, MD, MS; Olumide Aruwajoye, MS; Justin Du ; Nobuhiro Kamiya, MD, PhD
Background: Non-weight-bearing decreases the femoral head deformity but increases bone resorption without increasing bone formation in an experimental animal model of Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease. We sought to determine if local administration of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-2 with or without bisphosphonate can increase the bone formation during the non-weight-bearing treatment in the large animal model of Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease.
Methods: Eighteen piglets were surgically induced with femoral head ischemia. Immediately following the surgery, all animals received an above-the-knee amputation to enforce local non-weight-bearing (NWB). One to two weeks later, six animals received local BMP-2 to the necrotic head (BMP group), six received local BMP-2 and ibandronate (BMP+IB group), and the remaining six received no treatment (NWB group). All animals were killed at eight weeks after the induction of ischemia. Radiographic, microcomputed tomography (micro-CT), and histomorphometric assessments were performed.
Results: Radiographic assessment showed that the femoral heads in the NWB, BMP, and BMP+IB groups had a decrease of 20%, 14%, and 10%, respectively, in their mean epiphyseal quotient in comparison with the normal control group. Micro-CT analyses showed significantly higher femoral head bone volume in the BMP+IB group than in the BMP group (p = 0.02) and the NWB group (p < 0.001). BMP+IB and BMP groups had a significantly higher trabecular number (p < 0.01) and lower trabecular separation (p < 0.02) than the NWB group. In addition, the osteoclast number per bone surface was significantly lower in the BMP+IB group compared with the NWB group. Calcein labeling showed significantly higher bone formation in the BMP and BMP+IB groups than in the NWB group (p < 0.05). Heterotopic ossification was found in the capsule of four hips in the BMP+IB group but not in the BMP group.
Conclusions: Administration of BMP-2 with bisphosphonate best decreased bone resorption and increased new bone formation during non-weight-bearing treatment of ischemic osteonecrosis in a pig model, but heterotopic ossification is a concern.
Clinical Relevance: This preclinical study provides new evidence that BMP-2 with bisphosphonate can effectively prevent the extreme bone loss associated with the non-weight-bearing treatment and increase new bone formation in the femoral head in this animal model of ischemic osteonecrosis.