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Proteomic Analysis of Trauma-Induced Heterotopic Ossification Formation

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Annual rept. 30 Sep 2013-29 Sep 2014

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Over the past decade, improved personal protective equipment and medical support has reduced combat fatalities substantially among wounded war fighters. As a result, survivors are more likely to present with severe trauma to their arms and legs that will need multiple reconstructive surgeries or amputation during their recovery. The orthopaedic doctors caring for these wounded service personnel have been concerned by the fact that over 60 of these patients go on to form abnormal bone within the soft tissue of their injured limbs. This condition, known as Heterotopic Ossification HO, causes pain, loss of mobility, and often requires additional surgeries to remove the rock hard tissue that has replaced their fat and muscle. While there are theories to explain why HO might occur, doctors still do not fully understand the mechanisms causing this disorder. Without knowing the mechanism, doctors find it difficult to predict which patients might be at risk for developing HO or to decide which drugs or treatments to use that would prevent HO from happening in these patients. The currently available treatments for HO have many undesirable side effects which can complicate the overall recovery process. The Specific Aims of this Idea Development proposal address these important questions by using blood samples collected from wounded warriors and civilians with bone injuries. The study will compare the blood samples between patients who either have or have not developed HO during the first year after their injury. The first experiments will ask, does the blood or wound fluid contain any proteins that can stimulate fat or muscle cells to form bone in the laboratory This will test whether patients with HO have factors circulating in their blood or around the wound that specifically stimulate bone formation as compared to patients without HO. If this proves true, it will be an important step forward in understanding how HO occurs.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Weapons Effects (Biological)

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