Transient osteoporosis of the hip and subclinical hypothyroidism: An unusual dangerous duet? Case report and pathogenetic hypothesis

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Abstract

Background: Transient osteoporosis of the hip (TOH) is a rare and temporary clinical condition characterised by bone marrow edema (BME), severe pain, and functional limitation. It commonly occurs in middle-aged men or in women in the last trimester of pregnancy. TOH usually resolves with conservative therapy but may predispose to hip fracture or progression to avascular necrosis (AVN). Etiology is still unclear, although several pathophysiological mechanisms underpinning this condition has been proposed. We describe the management of an unusual case of TOH occurred in a patient with subclinical hypothyroidism. Case presentation: A clinical case of a 46-year-old man with severe pain in the left anterior thigh is presented. After a comprehensive clinical and radiological approach, a TOH was diagnosed. Moreover, biochemical assessment suggested the presence of subclinical hypothyroidism. After 3 months of treatment with clodronate, physical therapy and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) a significant improvement of clinical and radiological outcomes was observed. Conclusion: Several pathological conditions have been related to development of TOH. In our case, we suggested for the first time a role of subclinical hypothyroidism as novel contributory factor for the onset of this condition, providing pathophysiological mechanisms and a scientific rationale for pharmacological treatment.

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Paoletta, M., Moretti, A., Liguori, S., Bertone, M., Toro, G., & Iolascon, G. (2020). Transient osteoporosis of the hip and subclinical hypothyroidism: An unusual dangerous duet? Case report and pathogenetic hypothesis. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 21(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12891-020-03574-x

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