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Title: Atypical femoral fractures in Italy: a retrospective analysis in a large urban emergency department during a 7-year period (2007-2013)
Authors: Pedrazzoni, Mario
Giusti, Andrea
Girasole, Giuseppe
Abbate, Barbara
Verzicco, Ignazio
Cervellin, Gianfranco 
Keywords: Atypical femoral fractures;Bisphosphonates;Epidemiology;Osteoporosis
Issue Date: Sep-2017
Journal: Journal of bone and mineral metabolism 
The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of atypical femoral fractures (AFFs) seen in a large emergency department in Italy. It was a retrospective study of all men and women aged 40 years or older admitted to the Emergency Department of Parma University Hospital for a femoral fracture. Cases were identified in the hospital database with use of International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) code 820 or 821 or text strings. All the radiographic images of fractures not clearly identified as proximal or condylar were retrieved and evaluated by three independent reviewers. Fractures were considered as atypical if all three reviewers agreed on at least four of five major features defined by the 2013 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research criteria. In the 7-year period (2007-2013), with a total follow-up of 1,383,154 patient-years, we found 22 AFFs in 21 patients, accounting for 7.1% of low-trauma subtrochanteric/femoral shaft fractures and 0.6% of all femoral fractures. The incidence was very low (1.6 in 100,000 patient-years in both sexes combined). In contrast, the incidence of classic fractures of the proximal end of the femur was at least two orders of magnitude higher (typical/atypical rate ratio 152). Bisphosphonate use was reported in 13 patients (62%; mean treatment duration 9 years; range 5-14 years). Among 286 patients with typical subtrochanteric/femoral shaft fractures, 20 were being treated with bisphosphonate (7%; odds ratio 22; 95% confidence interval 8-58; p < 0.001). This study confirms the very low incidence of AFFs in the largest Italian cohort of patients to date. Even though the risk is higher in patients treated with bisphosphonates, AFFs are very rare, and typical femoral fractures are at least 100-fold more frequent.
ISSN: 09148779
DOI: 10.1007/s00774-016-0790-7
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