Affordable Access

Publisher Website

Longitudinal Effects of Single Hindlimb Radiation Therapy on Bone Strength and Morphology at Local and Contralateral Sites.

  • Oest, Megan E1
  • Policastro, Connor G1
  • Mann, Kenneth A1
  • Zimmerman, Nicholas D1
  • Damron, Timothy A1
  • 1 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, USA.
Published Article
Journal of Bone and Mineral Research
Wiley (John Wiley & Sons)
Publication Date
Sep 13, 2017
DOI: 10.1002/jbmr.3289
PMID: 28902435


Radiation therapy (RTx) is associated with increased risk for late-onset fragility fractures in bone tissue underlying the radiation field. Bone tissue outside the RTx field is often selected as a "normal" comparator tissue in clinical assessment of fragility fracture risk, but the robustness of this comparison is limited by an incomplete understanding of the systemic effects of local radiotherapy. In this study, a mouse model of limited field irradiation was used to quantify longitudinal changes in local (irradiated) and systemic (non-irradiated) femurs with respect to bone density, morphology, and strength. BALB/cJ mice aged 12 weeks underwent unilateral hindlimb irradiation (4 × 5 Gy) or a sham procedure. Femurs were collected at endpoints of 4 days before treatment and at 0, 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, and 26 weeks post-treatment. Irradiated (RTx), Contralateral (non-RTx), and Sham (non-RTx) femurs were imaged by micro-computed tomography and mechanically tested in three-point bending. In both the RTx and Contralateral non-RTx groups, the longer-term (12- to 26-week) outcomes included trabecular resorption, loss of diaphyseal cortical bone, and decreased bending strength. Contralateral femurs generally followed an intermediate response compared with RTx femurs. Change also varied by anatomic compartment; post-RTx loss of trabecular bone was more profound in the metaphyseal than the epiphyseal compartment, and cortical bone thickness decreased at the mid-diaphysis but increased at the metaphysis. These data demonstrate that changes in bone quantity, density, and architecture occur both locally and systemically after limited field irradiation and vary by anatomic compartment. Furthermore, the severity and persistence of systemic bone damage after limited field irradiation suggest selection of control tissues for assessment of fracture risk or changes in bone density after radiotherapy may be challenging. © 2017 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

Report this publication


Seen <100 times