+49 30 838 53555
Serological parameters of bone and fibrous tissue turnover were demonstrated to monitor the course of fracture healing. The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlation between the serological parameter levels during fracture healing and callus development in a standardised ovine model of fracture healing. Two years old female sheep received a standardised 3 mm tibial bone defect stabilised by an external fixator. The serological levels of the C-terminal propeptide of procollagen type I (PICP), bone specific alkaline phosphatase (bALP), total alkaline phosphatase (tALP), osteocalcin, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP), calcium, phosphate and the N-terminal peptide of procollagen type III (PIIINP) were observed over a 9-week healing period. The course of fracture healing was monitored radiographically, and the callus composition was evaluated histologically at 2, 3, 6 and 9 weeks post-surgery. The serological results were compared with an untreated control group. Additionally, the maximum values during healing were compared with juvenile values to gauge the level of the serological response. The histological and radiographical results demonstrated callus formation without complications. All serological parameters showed broad inter-individual variations, and the response to the standardised fracture scenario was strongly individual. Maximum values during fracture healing did not reach the juvenile levels. The fractured as well as the control animals showed significant changes in the parameter levels. No correlations were observed between the histological course of healing and the course of bone formation markers whilst the TRAP level was reduced during bony callus formation. The PIIINP level increased when the amount of soft callus tissue decreased during healing. The observed bone formation markers were not suitable as general markers to detect the course of fracture healing, whilst PIIINP was able to reflect soft callus degradation.