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Nandrolone decanoate in induced fracture nonunion with vascular deficit in rat model: morphological aspects.

  • Senos, R1, 2
  • Roberto-Rodrigues, M3
  • Fernandes, R M P3
  • Santos, T M P4
  • Viana, L P3
  • Lima, I4
  • Guzman-Silva, M A5
  • Gomes, M S6
  • Rici, R E G7
  • Kfoury Júnior, J R7
  • 1 Department of Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University - Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, 200 Westboro Rd, North Grafton, MA, 48109, USA. [email protected]
  • 2 Department of Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil. [email protected] , (Brazil)
  • 3 Department of Morphology, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, Brazil. , (Brazil)
  • 4 Department of Nuclear Engineering, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. , (Brazil)
  • 5 Department of Pathology, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niterói, RJ, Brazil. , (Brazil)
  • 6 Department of Animal Biology, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. , (Brazil)
  • 7 Department of Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil. , (Brazil)
Published Article
Musculoskeletal surgery
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2020
DOI: 10.1007/s12306-019-00621-2
PMID: 31407231


The nonunion fracture is a relatively frequent complication in both human and veterinary medicine. Specifically, atrophic fracture nonunions are difficult to treat, with revision surgery usually providing the best prognosis. Anabolic steroids, such as nandrolone decanoate (ND), have been reported to have beneficial clinical effects on bone mass gain during osteoporosis; however, their utility in promoting regeneration in atrophic nonunions has not been documented. Our objective was to examine morphological changes induced by the ND in experimental fracture nonunion with vascular deficit in the rat model. Fourteen adult Wistar rats had an atrophic fracture nonunion induced in the diaphysis of their left femur. Rats were allocated into two groups: control group and nandrolone decanoate group. Rats in the latter group were given nandrolone decanoate (1.5 mg/kg IM, once a week, during 4 weeks after confirmation of fracture nonunion radiographically). Radiographic and anatomopathological examination, micro-tomography and histological analysis were assessed to characterize the morphological changes promoted by the nandrolone decanoate use. Based on radiology, anatomopathological evaluation, computed micro-tomography and conventional microscopy, nandrolone decanoate promoted bone regeneration at the fracture nonunion site by increasing the cellularity at the fracture site. Percentage of collagen was not significantly different between groups, consistent with high-quality regenerated bone. The anabolic steroid nandrolone decanoate improved bone mass and regeneration without affecting collagen production and therefore has potential for improving outcomes for atrophic fracture nonunion.

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