Increased serum OPG in atrophic nonunion shaft fractures

Daniele Marchelli, Luca P. Piodi, Costantino Corradini, Luca Parravicini, Cesare Verdoia, Fabio M. Ulivieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Bone repair alteration is hypothesized for nonunion fracture pathogenesis. Since it is involved in osteoclast regulation, the RANK/ RANKL/OPG system (receptor activator of nuclear factor kB/its ligand/ osteoprotegerin) may play a role. Materials and methods: Serum OPG, free RANKL, bone alkaline phosphatase (BAP), osteocalcin (OC), and urinary deoxypyridinoline (DPD) were determined in 16 male patients (20-39 years) with long bone atrophic nonunion fractures. Serum markers were also measured in 18 age-matched male controls who healed from the same type of fractures within six months, and in 14 age-matched male controls who were healing from the same fractures one month after injury. One-way ANOVA and Bonferroni's test were used for statistical analysis. Results: Only OPGwas significantly higher (0.56 sd 0.11 ng/ml) in the patients compared to healed (0.26 sd 0.04 ng/ml; P <0.001) and healing (0.29 sd 0.09 ng/ml; P <0.001) controls. The patients' DPD levels were normal. No correlations were found between bone markers and the characteristics of the subjects in all groups. Conclusions: A normal steady state of bone metabolism seems to be present in patients with atrophic nonunion fractures, despite the high serum OPG. The reason for the inability of the patients' OPG to inhibit osteoclastic activity is unknown. Osteoblast activity also appears normal, so another cellular source of OPG can be hypothesized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-58
Number of pages4
JournalOptimization and Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Bone turnover markers
  • Nonunion
  • Osteoprotegerin
  • Shaft fractures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Control and Optimization


Dive into the research topics of 'Increased serum OPG in atrophic nonunion shaft fractures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this