Objective. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) promotes bone healing through the cyclooxgenase 2 (COX-2) pathway. Methods. Each male Sprague Dawley rat (n = 48 total) in the study underwent bilateral drilled hole injury in the proximal tibiae. Then the animals were randomly assigned to 2 groups: a COX-2 inhibitor (COX-2in) group, treated with the selective COX-2 inhibitor rofecoxib (3 mg/kg/d), and a control (CON) group, treated with distilled water. Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound was applied to the injured site of a single limb of each rat for 20 min/d at a consistent intensity (30 mW/cm2) and frequency (1.5 MHz). Subsets of animals from both groups were killed after 3, 7, or 14 days of single-limb LIPUS treatment. Tissue sections were subjected to alcian blue staining, and the healing status was quantified according to a scoring system. Results. After 3 and 7 days, the CON group's LIPUS-treated limbs had significantly higher healing scores than its nontreated limbs and the COX-2in group's LIPUS-treated limbs (P < .05). Interestingly, after the 14-day treatment, the COX-2in group's LIPUS-treated limbs had significantly higher healing scores than its nontreated limbs (P < .05) but showed no difference when compared with the CON group. Conclusions. Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound did show accelerative efficacy on bone healing. Selective inhibition of COX-2 could delay but not entirely block the benefits of LIPUS on bone healing. Low-intensity ultrasound treatment could promote bone healing through other, non-COX-2-dependent, pathways.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging