A growing body of evidence suggests that hydrogen is a novel, selective antioxidant that exerts a protective effect against organ damage. The present study investigated the effect of hydrogen-rich saline on corticosteroid-induced necrosis of the femoral head in an animal model established using prednisolone. A total of 30 healthy, male, adult New Zealand white rabbits were randomly divided into two groups: Hydrogen-rich saline (treated with hydrogen-rich saline via intraperitoneal injection) and placebo (treated with normal saline). At the set time-points, the structure of the femoral head was examined using a microscope; the concentrations of glutathione (GSH), lipid peroxide (LPO), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and thrombomodulin (TM) in the plasma were measured and the microvessel density was quantified. The results showed that hydrogen-rich saline significantly decreased the levels of VEGF, TM and LPO and increased the GSH level in steroid-associated necrosis of the femoral head in the rabbit model. A significant increase in the microvessel density was observed in the hydrogen-rich saline group. Histopathological staining confirmed the results of the biochemical analysis. The present study demonstrates that hydrogen treatment may alleviate steroid-associated osteonecrosis by inhibiting oxidative stress. Hydrogen-rich saline may provide an alternative treatment for steroid-associated necrosis of the femoral head.
Huang SL, Jiao J, Yan HW. Hydrogen-rich saline attenuates steroid-associated femoral head necrosis through inhibition of oxidative stress in a rabbit model. Exp Ther Med. 2016 Jan;11(1):177-182.