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Ther Adv Musculoskelet Dis. 2012 Oct;4(5):315-25.

Significance of C-reactive protein in osteoarthritis and total knee arthroplasty outcomes.

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Department of Bioengineering, University of Utah, 3223 Sorenson Molecular Biotechnology Building, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.



The relationship between systemic inflammatory processes to total knee arthroplasty (TKA) outcomes remains unclear. This study investigates the relationship between serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and functional outcomes post-TKA.


A total of 31 patients with osteoarthritis (OA) who underwent TKA were enrolled in the study; 15 with hs-CRP ≤1.0 mg/l (low hs-CRP group) and 16 subjects with hs-CRP ≥4.0 mg/l (high hs-CRP group). During surgery, synovium and bone sections were sequestered, formalin-fixed, and paraffin embedded for slide preparation. Tissue sections were stained with hematoxylin and eosin and analyzed using a light microscope. A total of 12 cytokines were measured in synovial fluid samples from the knee joint at time of surgery and analyzed using the Luminex Multi-Analyte Profiling System. Relationships between cytokines and hs-CRP were assessed using Spearman correlation coefficients. Student's t-tests were used to compare Short Form health outcomes survey (SF-12) health outcomes between high and low hs-CRP, and presurgical and postsurgical visits.


Mean ± standard deviation (SD) baseline and 1-year hs-CRP values for the low hs-CRP group were 0.55 ± 0.23 mg/l and 1.22 ± 1.32 mg/l, respectively (n = 15; p = 0.051) and for the high hs-CRP group were 7.86 ± 5.98 mg/l and 14.11 ± 38.9 mg/l, respectively (n = 13; p = 0.54). Lymphocytes were present in 10 synovium and one bone sample (all but one from high hs-CRP group). Interleukin (IL)-5 and IL-10 were significantly correlated with hs-CRP (p = 0.0137 and p = 0.0029, respectively). The low hs-CRP group exhibited significant improvement in the physical component of SF-12 at 6 and 12 months compared with baseline, whereas the high hs-CRP group exhibited significant improvement only at 6 months. Body mass index (BMI) had a significant positive correlation with presurgical hs-CRP.


The results of this study provide support for inflammatory mechanisms contributing to the OA progression, with hs-CRP being a possible predictive variable, combined with BMI and other comorbidities, of post-TKA function.


C-reactive protein; Osteoarthritis; inflammation; total knee arthroplasty

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