Serum leptin, bone mineral density and the healing of long bone fractures in men with spinal cord injury
Previously reported fracture rates in patients with spinal cord injury range from 1% to 20%. However, the exact role of spinal cord injury in bone metabolism has not yet been clarified. In order to investigate the effects of serum leptin and bone mineral density on the healing of long bone fractures in men with spinal cord injury, 15 male SCI patients and 15 matched controls were involved in our study. The outcome indicated that at 4 and 8 weeks after bone fracture, callus production in patients with spinal cord injury was lower than that in controls. Besides, bone mineral density was significantly reduced at 2, 4 and 8 weeks. In addition, it was found that at each time point, patients with spinal cord injury had significantly higher serum leptin levels than controls and no association was found between serum leptin level and bone mineral density of lumbar vertebrae. Moreover, bone mineral density was positively correlated with bone formation in both of the groups. These findings suggest that in early phases i.e. week 4 and 8, fracture healing was impaired in patients with spinal cord injury and that various factors participated in the complicated healing process, such as hormonal and mechanical factors.
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