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Thromb Res. 2010 Dec;126(6):e423-7. doi: 10.1016/j.thromres.2010.09.003. Epub 2010 Oct 6.

Osteoprotegerin is higher in peripheral arterial disease regardless of glycaemic status.

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  • 1Department of Diabetes, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Medical School, Beaumont Hospital, and Centre for Preventive Medicine, School of Health and Human Performance, Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland.



Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) are both associated with excessive vascular calcification and elevated levels of inflammatory markers IL-6 and hsCRP. The recently identified Osteoprotegerin(OPG)/RANKL/TRAIL pathway has been implicated in vascular calcification, but data on levels in PAD and effect of co-existent DM are lacking.


4 groups of patients were recruited - 26 with PAD and DM, 35 with DM alone, 22 with PAD alone, and 21 healthy individuals. Serum OPG, RANKL, TRAIL, hsCRP and IL-6 were measured using commercial ELISA assays. Presence and severity of PAD was defined using ankle brachial index (ABI).


Serum OPG (7.4±0.3 vs.5.8±0.2 pmol/l, p<0.0001), TRAIL (95.5±5.2 ng/ml vs. 76.2±4.4 ng/ml, p=0.006), hsCRP (2.6±0.3 vs. 1.8±0.3 mg/l, p=0.048), and IL-6 (4.1±0.4 vs. 2.9±0.4 pg/ml, p=0.06) were higher in patients with PAD. There was no difference in RANKL. Only OPG was significantly higher in PAD and DM (7.2±0.3 pmol/l) and PAD alone (7.7±0.4 pmol/l) compared to DM only (5.8±0.3 pmol/l) and healthy controls (5.6±0.4 pmol/l), p<0.01, but OPG was no higher in those with DM plus PAD versus those with PAD alone (p<0.3). Only OPG was associated with PAD severity, correlating negatively with ABI (r=-0.26, p=0.03), independent of age, gender, glycaemic status, hsCRP and IL-6.


PAD is associated with higher serum OPG, regardless of the co-existence of DM. This finding, in addition to its correlation with severity of PAD, suggests that OPG may be a novel marker for the presence and severity of PAD, possibly by reflecting the degree of underlying vascular calcification.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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