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BMC Musculoskelet Disord, 2020; 21(1): 693, PMID: 33076902

Analysis of low-dose estrogen on callus BMD as measured by pQCT in postmenopausal women.

Year: 2020

Jackle K, Kolb JP, Schilling AF, Schlickewei C, Amling M, Rueger JM, Lehmann W
Department of Trauma Surgery, Orthopaedics and Plastic Surgery, University Medical Center Gottingen, Robert-Koch Str. 40, 37075, Gottingen, Germany.


BACKGROUND: Osteoporosis affects elderly patients of both sexes. It is characterized by an increased fracture risk due to defective remodeling of the bone microarchitecture. It affects in particular postmenopausal women due to their decreased levels of estrogen. Preclinical studies with animals demonstrated that loss of estrogen had a negative effect on bone healing and that increasing the estrogen level led to a better bone healing. We asked whether increasing the estrogen level in menopausal patients has a beneficial effect on bone mineral density (BMD) during callus formation after a bone fracture. METHODS: To investigate whether estrogen has a beneficial effect on callus BMD of postmenopausal patients, we performed a prospective double-blinded randomized study with 76 patients suffering from distal radius fractures. A total of 31 patients (71.13 years +/-11.99) were treated with estrogen and 45 patients (75.62 years +/-10.47) served as untreated controls. Calculated bone density as well as cortical bone density were determined by peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) prior to and 6 weeks after the surgery. Comparative measurements were performed at the fractured site and at the corresponding position of the non-fractured arm. RESULTS: We found that unlike with preclinical models, bone fracture healing of human patients was not improved in response to estrogen treatment. Furthermore, we observed no dependence between age-dependent bone tissue loss and constant callus formation in the patients. CONCLUSIONS: Transdermally applied estrogen to postmenopausal women, which results in estrogen levels similar to the systemic level of premenopausal women, has no significant beneficial effect on callus BMD as measured by pQCT, as recently shown in preclinical animal models. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Low dose estrogen has no significant effect on bone fracture healing measured by pQCT in postmenopausal women, DRKS00019858 . Registered 25th November 2019 - Retrospectively registered. Trial registration number DRKS00019858 .

GID: 5212; Last update: 26.10.2020