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Association Between Ultrasonographic Findings and Bone/Cartilage Biomarkers in Patients with Early-Stage Knee Osteoarthritis

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Abstract

Little is known regarding the association between ultrasonographic (US) findings and biomarkers of bone and cartilage in individuals with knee osteoarthritis (OA). We investigated (1) US findings in early-stage knee OA and (2) the association between US findings and bone/cartilage biomarkers. A population cohort aged 35–55 years (n = 106) with early-stage knee OA was investigated. US examination was performed according to European League against Rheumatism (EULAR) guidelines using a 7.5-MHz probe. Biomarkers of bone resorption (CTx-I) and formation (PINP), cartilage resorption (U-CTx-II) and synthesis (S-PIIANP), and general bone and cartilage biomarkers (OC, COMP) were assessed. The most prevalent US findings were tendon calcification, synovial thickening, and suprapatellar effusion. In women, the presence of tendon calcification and Baker’s cysts could predict 36% of the variability in U-CTx-II levels. The presence of osteophytes and tendon calcification predicted up to 38% of the variability of PIIANP concentration. Defects in subchondral bone, meniscal changes, and effusion predicted up to 29% of the variability in COMP levels. Tendon calcification was related to cartilage synthesis (based on PIIANP levels) in men and to cartilage degradation (based on U-CTx-II concentrations) in women. US signs of synovitis were reflected metabolically by markers of joint tissue metabolism. Tendon calcification, synovial thickening, and effusion were common US findings in early-stage knee OA. US-detectable findings were substantially responsible for the variability in bone and cartilage biomarkers, associations reflective of the active metabolism of soft tissues in early-stage OA.

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Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the ECTS/Czech Society for Metabolic Diseases Eastern Europe Young Investigator Grant. The laboratory investigations were supported in part by Immunodiagnostic Systems, AnaMar Medical, and Surgitech/Roche Lietuva UAB. The authors are grateful to radiologist Dr. Karin Veske for precise and dedicated US examinations, to Dr. Bodil Cecile Sondergaard (Immunodiagnostic Systems) for sharing expertise in the U-CTx-II assays, and to Ms. Maret Vija for excellent technical support.

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Correspondence to Jaanika Kumm.

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Kumm, J., Tamm, A., Lintrop, M. et al. Association Between Ultrasonographic Findings and Bone/Cartilage Biomarkers in Patients with Early-Stage Knee Osteoarthritis. Calcif Tissue Int 85, 514–522 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00223-009-9302-2

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