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Locally administered low-dose alendronate increases bone mineral density during distraction osteogenesis in a rabbit model

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We investigated the effect of locally administered bisphosphonate on distraction osteogenesis in a rabbit model and evaluated its systemic effect. An osteotomy on the right tibia followed by distraction for four weeks was performed on 47 immature rabbits. They were divided into seven equal groups, with each group receiving a different treatment regime. Saline and three types of dosage of alendronate (low, 0.75 μg/kg; mid, 7.5 μg/kg and high 75 μg/kg) were given by systemic injection in four groups, and saline and two dosages (low and mild) were delivered by local injection to the distraction gap in the remaining three groups. The injections were performed five times weekly during the period of distraction.

After nine weeks the animals were killed and image analysis and mechanical testing were performed on the distracted right tibiae and the left tibiae which served as a control group. The local low-dose alendronate group showed a mean increase in bone mineral density of 124.3 mg/cm3 over the local saline group (analysis of variance, p < 0.05) without any adverse effect on the left control tibiae.

The findings indicate that the administration of local low-dose alendronate could be an effective pharmacological means of improving bone formation in distraction osteogenesis.

Correspondence should be sent to Dr H. Omi; e-mail: hirotsugu_omi@yahoo.co.jp

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