VA Funding to Study 'Intramedullary Antibiotic Therapy for the Treatment of Osteomyelitis'

IVIS and Micro-CT images of infected rats receiving single treatment dose of vancomycin (top row) or single saline placebo dose (bottom row).

Our preliminary findings led us to the following innovative concept that formed the basis of our project. We hypothesized that the local intramedullary administration of antimicrobials can effectively TREAT osteomyelitis and can PREVENT infection in a contaminated fracture model. The local delivery of antimicrobial will produce the requisite concentrations of drug to kill bacteria while minimizing systemic concentrations and the associated undesirable side effects.

Approximately 70% of trauma or combat injuries involve the musculoskeletal system and up to 15% of these patients develop osteomyelitis. Current standard treatments for infected bones require adequate debridement of the involved or exposed bone with systemic administration of antibiotics, which can last for weeks and have potential toxicities. We propose a novel method for local antibiotic delivery directly to the infected bone as a means to improve treatment efficacy and reduce systemic toxicities for our veteran and civilian patients.

Principal Investigator: Jayant Agarwal, MD