Osteoimmunology: The effect of autoimmunity on fracture healing and skeletal analysis

Stephie R. Lončar (Lead / Corresponding author), Siân E. Halcrow (Lead / Corresponding author), Diana Swales

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
133 Downloads (Pure)


Understanding factors that affect bone response to trauma is integral to forensic skeletal analysis. It is essential in forensic anthropology to identify if impaired fracture healing impacts assessment of post-traumatic time intervals and whether a correction factor is required. This paper presents a synthetic review of the intersection of the literature on the immune system, bone biology, and osteoimmunological research to present a novel model of interactions that may affect fracture healing under autoimmune conditions. Results suggest that autoimmunity likely impacts fracture healing, the pathogenesis however, is under researched, but likely multifactorial. With autoimmune diseases being relatively common, significant clinical history should be incorporated when assessing skeletal remains. Future research includes the true natural healing rate of bone; effect of autoimmunity on this rate; variation of healing with different autoimmune diseases; and if necessary, development of a correction factor on the natural healing rate to account for impairment in autoimmunity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100326
Number of pages18
JournalForensic Science International: Synergy
Early online date17 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Autoimmunity
  • Forensic anthropology
  • Fracture healing
  • Osteoimmunology
  • Post-traumatic time interval
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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