Changes in the bone tissue lipids in persons with steroid- and alcohol-induced osteonecrosis
Bone and Bones
Femur Head Necrosis
The lipids associated with osteonecrotic bone have a higher cholesterol content than those associated with normal (nondiseased) or osteoarthritic bone. A study of 18 osteonecrotic femoral heads showed elevated total lipids in the affected superolateral regions of the osteonecrotic bone as compared with both the unaffected inferomedial regions and the superolateral regions of nondiseased femoral heads. Cholesterol content was elevated in both the affected and unaffected regions of the osteonecrotic bones when contrasted with the cholesterol contents of control bones. Greatest elevations were noted for those persons with histories of combined steroid use and alcohol abuse. Seven controls and four osteoarthritic femoral heads had lower total lipid and cholesterol contents. The bone cholesterol content was correlated (r = 0.82) with the proportion of the tissue that was necrotic. The elevated cholesterol content in the necrotic tissues may contribute to cell death by altering membrane metabolism.