Analog Method for Radiographic Assessment of Heterotopic Bone in Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva

Chamith S. Rajapakse, Carter Lindborg, Haitao Wang, Benjamin T. Newman, Elizabeth A. Kobe, Gregory Chang, Eileen M. Shore, Frederick S. Kaplan, Robert J. Pignolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Rationale and Objectives Severe progressive multifocal heterotopic ossification (HO) is a rare occurrence seen predominantly in patients who have fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) and is difficult to quantitate owing to patient-, disease-, logistical-, and radiation-related issues. The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a scoring system based on plain radiographs for quantitative assessment of HO lesions in patients with FOP. Materials and Methods Institutional review board approval was obtained from the University of Pennsylvania, and all data comply with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulations. The University of Pennsylvania Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee approved the use of mice in this study. First, we used a mouse model of FOP-like HO to validate a semiquantitative analog scale for estimating relative heterotopic bone volume. Second, we used this validated scale to estimate the relative amount of HO from a retrospective analysis of plain radiographs from 63 patients with classic FOP. Finally, the scale was applied to a retrospective analysis of computed tomographic images from three patients with FOP. Results In the FOP-mouse model, the observed rating on the analog scale is highly correlated to heterotopic bone volumes measured by microcomputed tomography (R2 = 0.89). The scoring system that was applied to radiographs of patients with FOP captured the clinical range of HO typically present at all axial and appendicular sites. Analysis of computed tomographic scans of patients with FOP found that observed radiograph ratings were highly correlated with HO volume (R2 = 0.80). Conclusions The scoring system described here could enable practical, quantitative assessment of HO in clinical trials to evaluate new treatment modalities, especially for FOP. The development of the six-point analog scale described here provides and validates a much-needed, reproducible, and quantifiable method for describing and assessing HO in patients with FOP. This scale has the potential to be a key descriptor that can inform patients with FOP and clinicians about disease progression and response of HO lesions to interventions and treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-327
Number of pages7
JournalAcademic radiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Heterotopic bone
  • fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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