The value of serum creatine kinase in early diagnosis of heterotopic ossification

Andrew L. Sherman, Joan Williams, Lornette Patrick, Kresimir Banovac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Heterotopic ossification (HO) is a complication of spinal cord injury (SCI) characterized by formation of ectopic bone. Early diagnosis is critical, but available diagnostic methods have drawbacks. Serum creatine kinase may be a marker for the development and severity of HO. Participants: 18 SCI patients with diagnosed HO based on clinical findings and bone scintigraphy. Methods: Serum creatine kinase levels were taken at the time of diagnosis of HO and during subsequent etidronate therapy. Results: Of the 14 patients with normal creatine kinase values, 13 had no evidence of HO on follow-up radiographic examination. Of the 4 patients with elevated creatine kinase, all developed radiographic signs of HO. Conclusion: Elevated serum creatine kinase may be associated with a more aggressive course of HO as well as resistance to etidronate therapy. Further studies are needed to determine whether creatine kinase may serve as a marker for early, active HO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-230
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


  • Creatine kinase
  • Etidronate
  • Heterotopic ossification
  • Paraplegia
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Tetraplegia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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