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Research Abstracts Online
January 2008 - March 2009

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
School of Dentistry
Department of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences

PI: Raj Gopalakrishnan
Co-PI: Anna Petryk

Bisphosphonate Associated Osteonecrosis of the Jaws: Utilization of a Novel Dual Energy Micro-CT Protocol to Study Changes in Vascular Characteristics and Bone Changes

Long-term bisphosphonate (BP) treatment is standard in the management of patients with metastatic bone disease, multiple myeloma, osteoporosis and Paget’s disease, because they inhibit bone resorption. However, a major complication with long-term BP treatment is BP-associated osteonecrosis of the jaws (ONJ). The long-term goal of this project is to elucidate the pathogenesis of ONJ that will lead to development of preventative and therapeutic modalities in the management of this very difficult disease.

The primary objective of this project is to use a novel dual energy subtraction micro-computed tomography protocol to obtain precise spatial registration information about local vascular characteristics and bone changes in rat mandible treated with long-term BP. In the process, the researchers would also successfully develop an animal model for ONJ. They hypothesize that decreased vascular characteristics such as vascular density, number, and size in the mandible following long-term BP treatment is a key predisposing factor in the development of ONJ.

The researchers are using resources at the BSCL and SDVL to assist in their visualizations and analysis.

Group Members

Ann Carlson, Staff
Eric Jensen, Research Associate
Vivek Math, Graduate Student
Julio Sotillo, Graduate Student