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Papers of the Week

2021 Apr 27




New Strategies in Neurogenic Heterotopic Ossification.


Ampadiotaki M-M, Evangelopoulos DS, Pallis D, Vlachos C, Vlamis J, Evangelopoulos M-E
Cureus. 2021 Apr 27; 13(4):e14709.
PMID: 34055549.


The term neurogenic heterotopic ossification (NHO) is used to describe the pathological bone formation in soft tissues, due to spinal cord or brain injury. Commonly is presented with pain and stiffness of the affected joint. NHO affects the quality of life of these patients, delays their rehabilitation and therefore increases morbidity. The aim of this article is to emphasize pathophysiology mechanism and review new molecular treatments of heterotopic ossification (HO). It was demonstrated that potent treatment strategies are based on understanding the molecular mechanisms and aiming to inhibit the pathological process of the HO in various stages. New treatments are targeting several factors such as bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), retinoic acid receptors (RARs), hypoxic inhibitors (Hif1-inhibitors, rapamycin), free radical scavengers and immunological agents (imatinib). The endogenous pathways that lead to HO at molecular and cellular levels have been the aim of many studies in recent years. New treatment options for HO should be recommended due to the ineffectiveness of traditional older options, such as anti-inflammatory drugs and radiation, especially in the case of NHO.