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Toxicol Pathol. 1992;20(3 Pt 1):436-49; discussion 449-50.

Quinolone arthropathy--acute toxicity to immature articular cartilage.

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Department of Pathology and Experimental Toxicology, Parke-Davis Pharmaceutical Research Division, Warner-Lambert Company, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105.


A class effect of quinolone antibacterial agents observed during animal toxicity testing is a specific arthropathy (QAP). Despite the growing list of laboratory animals susceptible to QAP and reports of arthralgia in patients treated with quinolones, the potential for QAP development in humans remains unknown. This review discusses current concepts in the biology of articular cartilage and how these concepts elucidate QAP pathogenesis. Biomechanical forces within synovial joints and toxicokinetic properties of quinolones contribute to QAP induction. Since a limited number of mechanistic pathways exist for acute articular damage, QAP may serve as a research tool to probe the pathobiology of injury to articular cartilage.

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