Association between synovial fluid levels of aggrecan ARGS fragments and radiographic progression in knee osteoarthritis.

Larsson S, Englund M, Struglics A, Lohmander LS.
Journal   Arthritis Res Ther.
Analytes Measured  
Matrix Tested   Synovial fluid
Year   2010
Volume   12
Page Numbers   230
Application   Bone Metabolism
INTRODUCTION: Aggrecanase cleavage at the (392)Glu-(393)Ala bond in the interglobular domain (IGD) of aggrecan, releasing N-terminal (393)ARGS fragments, is an early key event in arthritis and joint injuries. We determined whether synovial fluid (SF) levels of ARGS-aggrecan distinguish subjects with progressive radiographic knee osteoarthritis (ROA) from those with stable or no ROA.

METHODS: We studied 141 subjects who, at examination A, had been given meniscectomies an average of 18 years earlier (range, 15 to 22 years). Seventeen individuals without surgery, and without known injury to the menisci or cruciate ligaments, were used as references. At examinations A and B, with a mean follow-up time of 7.5 years, we obtained SF and standing tibiofemoral and skyline patellofemoral radiographs. SF ARGS-aggrecan was measured with an electrochemiluminescence immunoassay, and we graded radiographs according to the OARSI atlas. The association between SF ARGS levels at examination A and progression of radiographic features of knee OA between examinations A and B was assessed by using logistic regression adjusted for age, gender, body mass index, and time between examinations, and stratified by ROA status at examination A.

RESULTS: We found a weak negative association between SF ARGS concentrations and loss of joint space: the likelihood of progression of radiographic joint space narrowing decreased 0.9 times per picomole per milliliter increase in ARGS (odds ratio (OR) 0.89; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.79 to 0.996). In subjects with and without preexisting ROA at examination A, the association was OR, 0.96; 0.81 to 1.13; and 0.77; 0.62 to 0.95, respectively. Average levels of SF ARGS 18 years after meniscectomy were no different from those of reference subjects and were not correlated to radiographic status at examination A.

CONCLUSIONS: In subjects with previous knee meniscectomy but without ROA, levels of SF ARGS-aggrecan were weakly and inversely associated with increased loss of joint space over a period of 7.5 years.

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