Bone marrow edema syndrome of the femoral head: treatment with the prostacyclin analogue iloprost vs. core decompression: an MRI-controlled study.

Wien Klin Wochenschr 2005 Feb;117(4):130-5

1st Department of General Orthopedics, Orthopedic Hospital Vienna-Speising, Vienna, Austria.

Background: The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of the vasoactive drug iloprost in Bone Marrow Edema Syndrome (BMES) and to compare it to the results of a control group treated by core decompression.

Patients And Methods: 38 hips (36 patients) with BMES in the femoral head were investigated. In group A, 18 hips (17 patients; mean age 49 years) were treated with iloprost, a vasoactive drug that dilates arterioles and venules, reduces capillary permeability and suppresses platelet aggregation. The therapy comprised a series of five infusions with 20 microg iloprost over 6 hours on 5 consecutive days. Weight bearing was reduced for up to 3 weeks, depending on the severity of symptoms. In group B, 20 hips (19 patients; mean age 41 years) underwent surgical core decompression of the femoral head followed by 6 weeks of partial weight bearing. Both groups were evaluated clinically, radiographically and by MRI.

Results: In group A, one patient had to discontinue therapy on the first day because of severe headache. In the remaining patients the Harris Hip Score (HHS) improved from a mean of 64.7 points (range 44-89) before therapy to 97.0 points (83-100) after 3 months. MRI controls showed complete remission in all hips. In group B, the preoperative HHS improved from 53.7 points (31-82) to 95.1 points (39-100) after 3 months. MRI controls showed complete remission of BMES in 14 hips, residual focal bone marrow edema in four hips and a small osteonecrotic area in two hips. In both groups the high level of clinical recovery was maintained at the last examination after a mean follow up of 11 months in group A and 12 months in group B.

Conclusion: The parenteral application of iloprost can achieve equal or better results in the treatment of bone marrow edema syndrome of the hip compared to core decompression.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00508-005-321-3DOI Listing
February 2005
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