Tohoku J. Exp. Med., 2018 May, 245(1)

Subchondral Insufficiency Fracture of the Femoral Head in a Pregnant Woman with Pre-existing Anorexia Nervosa

KYOKO KASAHARA,1 TOMOHIRO MIMURA,2 SUZUKO MORITANI, 3 TAKU KAWASAKI,2 SHINJI IMAI,2 SHUNICHIRO TSUJI,1 FUMINORI KIMURA1 and TAKASHI MURAKAMI1

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Shiga University of Medical Science, Otsu, Shiga, Japan
2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Shiga University of Medical Science, Otsu, Shiga, Japan
3Division of Diagnostic Pathology, Department of Clinical Laboratory Medicine, Shiga University of Medical Science, Otsu, Shiga, Japan

Subchondral insufficiency fracture (SIF) is a fragility fracture secondary to osteoporosis that leads to collapse of the femoral head with no evidence of osteonecrosis. SIF of the femoral head has been reported in adults of varying ages and both sexes, but it has never been reported to occur in pregnant women. Herein, we describe a 40-year-old primiparous patient with pre-existing anorexia nervosa who developed SIF of the femoral head in the third trimester. At 29 weeks of gestation, the patient complained of sudden pain on walking in both hips. Despite the bed rest, her hip pain increased; consequently, cesarean section was performed at 36 weeks. After delivery, plain radiographs showed that the left femoral head was collapsed. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry indicated that the patient was osteoporotic. The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of her hips showed the findings that were compatible with SIF. Her left hip pain worsened during follow-up, and a radiograph showed progressive collapse of the left femoral head. The patient then underwent left bipolar hip arthroplasty 18 months after delivery, and she was diagnosed with SIF histopathologically. This is the first report of SIF in a pregnant woman that may reflect pregnancy-associated osteoporosis. SIF in pregnancy might be overlooked or misdiagnosed because the MRI findings have several overlaps with those of other hip disorders. Precise diagnosis of SIF in pregnancy may contribute to a better outcome by avoiding early arthroplasty in young women and appropriate evaluation of the osteopenic status of the patient.

Key words —— anorexia nervosa; femoral head; osteoporosis; pregnancy; subchondral insufficiency fracture

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Tohoku J. Exp. Med., 2018, 245, 1-5

Correspondence: Kyoko Kasahara, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Shiga University of Medical Science, Seta Tsukinowa-cho, Otsu, Shiga 520-2192, Japan.

e-mail: kasabee@belle.shiga-med.ac.jp