Etiology and Pathogenesis of Corticosteroid-Associated Osteonecrosis of the Femoral Head A Current Concept Review

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Yusuke Kubo
Wolf Drescher
Thomas Pufe


Osteonecrosis of the femoral head (ONFH), Etiology, Pathogenesis, Corticosteroid


Osteonecrosis of the femoral head (ONFH) is an intractable disease occurring at a relatively young age. The characteristic finding of ONFH – the femoral head collapse with severe hip pain – is observed in many cases, which frequently leads to further joint destruction, requiring surgical treatment. Among the associated factors of ONFH, majority of patients who require high-dose corticosteroid are still challenging due to inevitable therapeutic option regardless of poor prognosis. As a pathological mechanism, ONFH is defined as tissue necrosis in the femoral head region due to occlusion of the nutrient vessels; but the detailed micro-level processes leading to blood flow failure remains unclear. The elucidation of ONFH and the establishment of preventive therapy is desirable for these patients. Here, we discuss the etiology and pathogenesis of corticosteroid-associated ONFH by reviewing current literature.

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