August 27, 2014
1 min read

Significant link found between osteonecrosis and corticosteroids

You've successfully added to your alerts. You will receive an email when new content is published.

Click Here to Manage Email Alerts

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact

A low but statistically significant link was determined between osteonecrosis and short-term, low-dose oral corticosteroids, according to study findings.

Researchers utilized a software platform to evaluate data from 24,533,880 patients who received either single or multiple methylprednisolone taper pack (MTP) prescriptions during a 12-year span. They then compared the incidence of osteonecrosis in patients who received MTP prescriptions with those who were never prescribed a MTP.

Of the 98,390 patients who received a single MTP, 130 were diagnosed with osteonecrosis, for an incidence rate of 0.132%. Patients who had received two or more MTPs had an incidence rate of 0.230%.

Compared with healthy controls, who had an osteonecrosis incidence rate of 0.083%, patients prescribed a single MTP had a relative risk of 1.591 for developing osteonecrosis, whereas patients prescribed two or more MTPs had a relative risk of 2.763. The between-group difference was statistically significant, according to the researchers.

Women prescribed multiple MTPs who had no prior osteonecrosis diagnoses or steroid use had the highest incidence of osteonecrosis (0.247%; relative risk: 3.094) when compared with sex-matched healthy controls.

Disclosure: The author has no relevant financial disclosures.