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      Bilateral osteonecrosis of the femoral head associated with corticosteroid therapy for alopecia areata: a case report and review of the literature

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          Corticosteroids have been widely used for the treatment of various inflammatory diseases because they provide an acute response of immunosuppression. Numerous side effects of corticosteroids have also been known, with varying degrees of severity. Osteonecrosis of the femoral head (ONFH) is a rare and serious complication that directly inhibits walking because of femoral head collapse. However, sometimes, clinicians who consider that corticosteroids are required for primary disease do not recognize steroid-induced ONFH. The final stage of ONFH is severe osteoarthritis, requiring total hip arthroplasty. We describe a 23-year-old woman with bilateral ONFH after corticosteroid treatment for alopecia areata (AA). She was administered several intralesional corticosteroid injections to the scalp and repeated systemic corticosteroid therapy for extensive AA. While undergoing therapy, she lost her balance and complained of right groin pain when standing. The patient was subsequently diagnosed with bilateral ONFH. She recovered from AA, but she complained of persistent right hip pain, which subsequently required total hip arthroplasty. We would like to emphasize that patients on corticosteroid therapy for any common disease should be considered as having a potential risk for ONFH. An early stage detection of ONFH is crucial for its treatment. MRI evaluation warrants a higher level of accuracy in early diagnosis of ONFH for the opportunity to undergo joint-preservation surgery in patients with ONFH.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Nontraumatic osteonecrosis of the femoral head: ten years later.

          The etiology of osteonecrosis of the hip may have a genetic basis. The interaction between certain risk factors and a genetic predisposition may determine whether this disease will develop in a particular individual. The rationale for use of joint-sparing procedures in the treatment of this disease is based on radiographic measurements and findings with other imaging modalities. Early diagnosis and intervention prior to collapse of the femoral head is key to a successful outcome of joint-preserving procedures. The results of joint-preserving procedures are less satisfactory than the results of total hip arthroplasty for femoral heads that have already collapsed. New pharmacological measures as well as the use of growth and differentiation factors for the prevention and treatment of this disease may eventually alter our treatment approach, but it is necessary to await results of clinical research with long-term follow-up of these patients.
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            Side effects of corticosteroid therapy.

             Craig Buchman (2001)
            Corticosteroids have been used for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease since the late 1940s. Upwards of 80% of patients may respond acutely to treatment with these medications, although 20% or more may be refractory and others become dependent on corticosteroid use to suppress disease activity. Side effects in the acute situation are relatively minor, although significant side effects (e.g., psychosis) have been encountered; the long-term use of corticosteroids is more problematic. This creates a milieu for the potential for serious and irreversible problems. These side effects are discussed in detail. The side effects from corticosteroids emulate from exogenous hypercortisolism, which is similar to the clinical syndrome of Cushing's disease. PubMed search for years 1966-2000, author's personal manuscript/abstract files, and citations of known references. Short-term corticosteroid use is associated with generally mild side effects, including cutaneous effects, electrolyte abnormalities, hypertension, hyperglycemia, pancreatitis, hematologic, immunologic, and neuropsychologic effects, although occasionally, clinically significant side effects may occur. Long-term corticosteroid use may be associated with more serious sequel, including osteoporosis, aseptic joint necrosis, adrenal insufficiency, gastrointestinal, hepatic, and ophthalmologic effects, hyperlipidemia, growth suppression, and possible congenital malformations.
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              Alopecia areata.


                Author and article information

                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                14 August 2018
                : 14
                : 1399-1405
                Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Shogoin, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan, ykuromd@ 123456kuhp.kyoto-u.ac.jp
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Yutaka Kuroda, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Shogoin, Kawaharacho 54, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan, Tel +81 75 751 3366, Fax +81 75 751 8409, Email ykuromd@ 123456kuhp.kyoto-u.ac.jp
                © 2018 Kuroda et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Case Report


                case report, femoral head, alopecia areata, avascular necrosis, steroid, osteonecrosis


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