Histological assessment of the effect of alpha-tocopherol on fracture healing in rabbits

J Int Med Res. Jan-Feb 2003;31(1):26-30. doi: 10.1177/147323000303100104.


To investigate the effect of alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) on fracture healing in rabbits, two groups of 10 rabbits were either injected with alpha-tocopherol (treated) or untreated (controls). The right femurs of both groups were fractured, and the treated group were injected intramuscularly with 20 mg/kg alpha-tocopherol daily for 5 days starting on the day of fracture. After 21 days, histological sections of the fractured region were examined and scored. Fracture healing had progressed further in the alpha-tocopherol group than in the control group. A statistically significant difference between the histological grading of fracture healing in the two groups was found. This difference may result from an antioxidant (alpha-tocopherol) effect on free oxygen radicals in the fracture area. We conclude that alpha-tocopherol may affect fracture healing favourably and might be useful as a therapeutic agent in clinical fracture management.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fracture Healing / drug effects*
  • Fractures, Bone / pathology*
  • Male
  • Rabbits
  • alpha-Tocopherol / pharmacology*


  • alpha-Tocopherol