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Ann Rheum Dis. Oct 2000; 59(10): 828–831.
PMCID: PMC1753008

Serum levels of YKL-40 and C reactive protein in patients with hip osteoarthritis and healthy subjects: a cross sectional study

Abstract

BACKGROUND—YKL-40 is a 40 kDa glycoprotein secreted by chondrocytes and synoviocytes. It has been suggested that it is a surrogate marker of synovial inflammation and joint destruction in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) and related to C reactive protein (CRP) serum levels in RA.
OBJECTIVE—To study serum levels of YKL-40 in patients with hip OA and its relation with CRP.
METHODS—YKL-40 and CRP were assayed in serum samples from 45 patients (24 women, 21 men, mean age 65) with symptomatic OA of the hip and 33 healthy controls. YKL-40 was assayed by immunoassay and CRP by ultrasensitive immunonephelometry. OA severity was assessed by the measurement of joint space width with a computer analysis system of digitised hip radiographs. Statistical analysis was performed to determine correlations between serum markers and radiological joint space width.
RESULTS—The mean (standard error) YKL-40 level was 90.3 (8.2) ng/ml in patients with hip OA and 66.9 (8.2) ng/ml in controls (p=0.03). The mean CRP level was 2.93 (3.03) mg/l in OA and 1.40 (1.61) mg/l in controls (p=0.006). The serum levels of YKL-40 and CRP increased with age and were significantly correlated (Spearman test: rs=0.42, p=0.005) in patients but not in controls. Neither YKL-40 nor CRP correlated with radiographic joint space width.
CONCLUSIONS—Serum YKL-40 was significantly increased in patients with hip OA. The correlation between YKL-40 and CRP suggests that YKL-40 may be a marker of joint inflammation in OA. Longitudinal studies are required to assess the usefulness of YKL-40 in the monitoring of patients with hip OA.

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Selected References

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Figures and Tables

Figure 1
Comparison of YKL-40 serum levels in 45 patients with hip osteoarthritis (OA) and 33 healthy controls (Mann-Whitney U test, p=0.035).
Figure 2
Comparison of C reactive protein (CRP) serum levels in 43 patients with hip osteoarthritis (OA) and 32 healthy controls (Mann-Whitney U test, p=0.006).
Figure 3
Correlation between serum concentrations of YKL-40 and C reactive protein (CRP; rs=0.42, p=0.005) in 45 patients with osteoarthritis of the hip (log transformed data).

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