Osteonecrosis in HIV: A case-control study

Anita N. Scribner, Paolo V. Troia-Cancio, Bruce A. Cox, David Marcantonio, Faruk Hamid, Philip Keiser, Marilyn Levi, Brady Allen, Kevin Murphy, Richard E. Jones, Daniel J. Skiest

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120 Scopus citations


Background: Osteonecrosis (avascular necrosis) has been infrequently reported in HIV-infected patients. It is not known whether HIV itself is an independent risk factor for osteonecrosis. Methods: We identified 25 patients with osteonecrosis from 1984 to 1999 from a large county teaching hospital and two large practices in Dallas County that specialize in HIV-disease related therapy. A retrospective chart review was performed to evaluate potential risk factors for osteonecrosis. Each case was matched with two controls for HIV positive status and date of osteonecrosis diagnosis. Results: In the study, 22 of 25 (88%) case patients had at least one osteonecrosis risk factor compared with 24 of 50 (48%) controls, p = .003. The most common osteonecrosis risk factors were hyperlipidemia (32%), alcoholism (28%), pancreatitis (16%), corticosteroids (12%), and hypercoaguability (12%). Of the cases, 12% were idiopathic. Multiple joints were involved in 72% of cases. Four of the case patients compared with none of the controls received megesterol acetate before the diagnosis of osteonecrosis, p = .01. No significant differences were found between cases and controls with respect to liver function tests, testosterone levels, triglyceride levels, cholesterol levels, or CD4 cell counts. Saquinavir was independently associated with osteonecrosis, p < .05. However, no differences in overall use of protease inhibitors among cases and controls were noted: 79% versus 76%, respectively. Conclusions: The increased incidence of osteonecrosis in HIV/AIDS may be due to an increased frequency of risk factors previously associated with osteonecrosis such as hyperlipidemia, corticosteroid use, alcohol abuse, and hypercoaguability. Use of protease inhibitors was not independently associated with osteonecrosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-25
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • AIDS
  • Avascular necrosis
  • HIV
  • Osteonecrosis
  • Protease inhibitors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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