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Osteoarthritis (OA) of the hip is a frequent and debilitating joint disease. Only few clinical risk factors for hip OA are established and clinically applicable biomarkers to identify patients at risk are still lacking. The glycoprotein vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1) is expressed by chondrocytes and synovial tissue and was a predictive marker for development of severe large joint OA in a previous study.
It was tested whether increased serum levels of VCAM-1 are prevalent in patients with severe OA of the hips.
In this prospective, multicenter, cross-sectional study, risk factors of severe hip OA were investigated in patients scheduled for hip joint arthroplasty and 100 patients were randomly selected for validation of VCAM-1 as a potential biomarker for hip OA. Serum samples were analyzed by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and compared with a sex and age-matched control cohort.
The groups were similar in age, gender ratio and prevalence of diabetes. Serum concentrations of VCAM-1 were 8% higher in OA patients compared to controls, without reaching statistical significance (818 ng ml−1, 95% confidence interval, CI 746–891 ng ml−1 versus 759 ng m−1, 95% CI 711–807 ng ml−1; P = 0.4839).
The results of this study show that serum concentrations of VCAM-1 cannot distinguish patients with severe hip OA from age and sex-matched controls.