RESEARCH – June 2005

High-sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) in middle aged population with early knee osteoarthritis


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CRP is, among other roles, considered a biomarker of knee osteoarthritis (KOA). The aim of the study was to investigate the structures or changes of the knees wich are related to the increased concentration of serum hs-CRP. A symptomatic cohort aged 34–54 years (101 women and 60 men) and residing in one community was studied. The OA of the tibio-femoral (TF) and patello-femoral (PF) joints was assessed radiographically. In 115 cases the knee pouches and ligaments were examined sonographi-cally. S-hs-CRP was measured by a particle-enchanced immunoturbidimetric assay (Hitachi 912). In data analysis non-parametric statistics were used. The S-hs-CRP value varied from 0 to 25 mg/L, the median being 1.6 for men and 1.0 mg/L for women (p = 0.003). The hs-CRP values were strongly dependent on the BMI of the sub-jects, ρ = 0.314, p = 0.016 (M); ρ = 0.616, p = 0.0000 (W). The hs-CRP values were higher in women with tibial and /or femoral osteophytes (p = 0.003). On ultrasound investigation part of the women showed narrowing of the PF cartilage, which correlated also with the increased level of hs-CRP (ρ = 0.323, p=0.005). The variability of hs-CRP in the regression model, accounting for the above factors, reached 43% in women and 34% in men. In the studied cohort increased serum hs-CRP concentration is related to several factors: gender, BMI, narrowing of the cartilage in the PF joint in women and presence of finger pain and osteophytes in the knee joint in men.