Clinician dresses wound on woman's forearm


Investigation into Possible Association of Oxandrolone and Heterotopic Ossification Following Burn Injury

What is the study about?

Oxandrolone can counteract the catabolic effects of burn injury. However, recent animal studies have shown an association between oxandrolone and the development of heterotopic ossification (HO) postburn. This study examines oxandrolone and HO development by exploring historical clinical data.

What did the study find?

Individuals with burn injury receiving oxandrolone had a higher occurrence of elbow HO than individuals who did not receive oxandrolone. However, when controlling for specific clinical factors that put a person with burn injury at risk for developing heterotopic ossification, there were no significant difference in rates of elbow HO between individuals who did and did not receive oxandrolone.

Who participated in the study?

Participants were selected from the Massachusetts General Hospital Research Patient Data registry. Participants had to be 18 years or older with severe burns admitted between 2000 and 2014.

How was the study conducted?

Participants were assigned a risk score for the development of HO using a previously validated scoring system. Medical records were examined for patient demographics and clinical data. Data from a study that looked at the effects of oxandrolone in mice were also examined.

How can people use the results?

These findings can be used to inform clinicians, individuals with burn injury and their families on the associations of oxandrolone and HO following burn injury.


Thorpe, C. R., Ozgurel, S. U., Simko, L. C., Goldstein, R., Grant, G. G., Pagani, C., . . . Ryan, C. M. (2019). Investigation into Possible Association of Oxandrolone and Heterotopic Ossification Following Burn Injury. Journal of Burn Care & Research, 40(4), 398-405. doi:10.1093/jbcr/irz063


The contents of this quick review were developed under a grant (number H133A110004) from the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.