The bisphosphonate ibandronate improves implant integration in osteopenic ovariectomized rats

Bone. 2005 Aug;37(2):204-10. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2004.12.017.


Osteoporosis is known to impair the process of implant osseointegration. Bisphosphonates are drugs that inhibit osteoclast-mediated bone resorption and normalize the high rate of bone turnover that characterizes this disease. Consequently, there is a rationale for using bisphosphonates to enhance the early stabilization of implants in subjects with low bone mass. In this study, 84 rats received titanium-only or hydroxyapatite (HA)-coated titanium femoral implants, 3 months after being ovariectomized (OVX) or sham operated. They were then treated for 4 weeks. The OVX rats were randomly assigned to daily subcutaneous injections of either saline or the bisphosphonate ibandronate (at a dose of 1 microg/kg or 25 microg/kg), while the sham-operated animals received saline throughout. The 1 microg/kg or 25 microg/kg ibandronate doses are considered translatable to doses used to treat osteoporosis and metastatic bone disease (MBD), respectively, in rats, and roughly reflect those used in humans. At the end of the treatment period, bone mineral density (BMD) at the lumbar spine increased in both of the ibandronate-treated groups when compared with the OVX control animals and to a level similar to that of the sham-operated control group. Osseointegration, determined by histomorphometric analysis and expressed as percentage of osseointegration implant surface (OIS), did not differ between groups for the titanium-only implants. For the HA-coated implants, however, OIS was 113.5% and 185% higher in the groups receiving 1 microg/kg or 25 microg/kg ibandronate, respectively, relative to the OVX controls. In turn, the OIS of the HA-coated implants was 56.5% lower in the OVX control group than in the sham control group. These findings clearly demonstrate that OVX-induced osteopenia impairs the osseointegration of HA-coated titanium implants and that ibandronate, administered at doses analogous to those used to clinically treat osteoporosis and MBD, counters this harmful effect. Ibandronate may, therefore, have a role in improving the osseointegration of implants in patients with osteoporosis and MBD.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Density / drug effects
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / drug therapy
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / etiology
  • Diphosphonates / therapeutic use*
  • Durapatite
  • Female
  • Femur / drug effects
  • Femur / pathology
  • Ibandronic Acid
  • Osseointegration / drug effects*
  • Osteoporosis / drug therapy
  • Osteoporosis / pathology
  • Ovariectomy
  • Prostheses and Implants*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Titanium


  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Diphosphonates
  • Durapatite
  • Titanium
  • Ibandronic Acid