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To determine the associations between joint metabolism biomarkers and hand radiographic osteoarthritis [(rOA), based on Kellgren Lawrence (KL) grade ≥ 2], symptoms, and function. Cross-sectional data were available for 663 participants (mean age 63 yrs, 63% white, 49% women). Three definitions of hand rOA were considered: (1) a composite measure involving at least 3 hand joints distributed bilaterally with 2 of 3 in the same joint group, including ≥ 1 distal interphalangeal joint, without metacarpophalangeal (MCP) swelling; (2) rOA in at least 1 joint of a group; and (3) number of joints with KL ≥ 2. We assessed hand symptoms and the 15-item Australian Canadian Hand Osteoarthritis Index (AUSCAN; Likert format). We measured serum cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (sCOMP), hyaluronic acid (sHA), carboxy-terminal propeptide of type II collagen, type II collagen degradation product, urinary C-terminal crosslinked telopeptide of type II collagen, and urinary N-terminal crosslinked telopeptide. Linear regression models were performed to assess associations between each biomarker with hand rOA, AUSCAN, and symptoms, adjusting for age, sex, race, current smoking/drinking status, body mass index, and hip and knee rOA. In adjusted analyses, MCP (p < 0.0001) and carpometacarpal rOA (p = 0.003), and a higher number of hand joints with rOA (p = 0.009), were associated with higher levels of sHA. Positive associations were seen between AUSCAN and hand symptoms and levels of sCOMP (p ≤ 0.003) and sHA (p ≤ 0.048). Hand symptoms and higher AUSCAN scores were independently associated with higher levels of both sCOMP and sHA; hand rOA was associated only with sHA levels.


Imran Aslam, Irina Perjar, Xiaoyan A Shi, Jordan B Renner, Virginia B Kraus, Yvonne M Golightly, Joanne M Jordan, Amanda E Nelson. Associations between biomarkers of joint metabolism, hand osteoarthritis, and hand pain and function: the Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project. The Journal of rheumatology. 2014 May;41(5):938-44

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PMID: 24584914

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