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01.12.2017 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Hematology 1/2017

Case report: primary osteonecrosis associated with thrombophilia-hypofibrinolysis and worsened by testosterone therapy

BMC Hematology > Ausgabe 1/2017
Michael Ian Jarman, Kevin Lee, Ariel Kanevsky, Sarah Min, Ilana Schlam, Chris Mahida, Ali Huda, Alexander Milgrom, Naila Goldenberg, Charles J. Glueck, Ping Wang



Familial and acquired thrombophilia are often etiologic for idiopathic hip and jaw osteonecrosis (ON), and testosterone therapy (TT) can interact with thrombophilia, worsening ON.

Case presentation

Case 1: A 62-year-old Caucasian male (previous deep venous thrombosis), on warfarin 1 year for atrial fibrillation (AF), had non-specific right hip-abdominal pain for 2 years. CT scan revealed bilateral femoral head ON without collapse. Coagulation studies revealed Factor V Leiden (FVL) heterozygosity, 4G/4G plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI) homozygosity, high anti-cardiolipin (ACLA) IgM antibodies, and endothelial nitric oxide (NO) synthase (eNOS) T786C homozygosity (reduced conversion of L-arginine to NO, required for bone health). Apixaban 5 mg twice daily was substituted for warfarin; and L-arginine 9 g/day was started to increase NO. On Apixaban for 8 months, he became asymptomatic. Case 2: A 32-year-old hypogonadal Caucasian male had 10 years of unexplained tooth loss, progressing to primary jaw ON with cavitation 8 months after starting TT gel 50 mg/day. Coagulation studies revealed FVL heterozygosity, PAI 4G/4G homozygosity, and the lupus anticoagulant. TT was discontinued. Jaw pain was sharply reduced within 2 months.


Idiopathic ON, often caused by thrombophilia-hypofibrinolysis, is worsened by TT, and its progression may be slowed or stopped by discontinuation of TT and, thereafter, anticoagulation. Recognition of thrombophilia-hypofibrinolysis before joint collapse facilitates anticoagulation which may stop ON, preserving joints.
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