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Is radiation superior to indomethacin to prevent heterotopic ossification in acetabular fractures?: a systematic review.

Clinical orthopaedics and related research (2008-09-30)
Taco J Blokhuis, Jan Paul M Frölke
ABSTRACT

Heterotopic ossification is a well-known complication after fixation of an acetabular fracture. Indomethacin and radiation therapy are used as prophylaxis to prevent heterotopic ossification. It is unclear, however, whether either is superior, although this may relate to lack of power in individual studies. To compare the effectiveness of indomethacin with the effectiveness of radiation therapy, we conducted a systematic review in which all published prospective studies were evaluated. We performed a literature search in PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Controlled Trial Register. The retrieved studies were analyzed and categorized according to the quality and validity score of Jadad et al. We found five appropriate prospective studies, describing 384 patients. Although the quality of the available studies made a proper meta-analysis inappropriate, the incidence of heterotopic ossification was significantly lower in patients treated with radiation than in patients receiving indomethacin (five of 160 versus 20 of 224, respectively). Until further information is available, we believe the evidence supports radiation therapy as the preferred method for preventing heterotopic ossification after operative treatment of acetabular fractures. Level II, therapeutic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Indomethacin, 98.5-100.5% (in accordance with EP)
Supelco
Indomethacin, Pharmaceutical Secondary Standard; Certified Reference Material
Sigma-Aldrich
Indomethacin, meets USP testing specifications
USP
Indomethacin, United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Reference Standard
Indomethacin, European Pharmacopoeia (EP) Reference Standard