Objective - To explore in a cross sectional study in patients with primary knee osteoarthritis (OA) the relations between body mass index (BMI), disease stage, and the concentrations of a putative joint fluid marker of type II collagen synthesis, procollagen II C-propeptide. Patients and Methods - The study included 142 patients with knee OA (median age 68, median BMI 24.1). OA was staged radiologically. The concentrations in synovial fluid of procollagen II C-propeptide were measured by a sandwich enzyme immunoassay. Results - Joint fluid concentrations of procollagen II C-propeptide were in creased in knees with OA (median 3.7 ng/ml), compared with published reference values for knees in healthy adult volunteers (median 1.3 ng/ml). The concentrations of procollagen II C-propeptide were independently related to both OA stage and BMI (Γ = 0.343, p < 0.0001 and Γ, = 0.253, p = 0.002, respectively). Conclusions - Joint fluid concentrations of this putative marker of collagen II synthesis are high in early and mid-stage OA, but decrease in end stage disease. In addition and for the first time it was shown that the concentrations in synovial fluid of procollagen II C- propeptide increase with increasing BMI in primary knee OA. The increased joint fluid values of this marker in patients with primary knee OA and a high BMI, may reflect increased rates of collagen synthesis in their joint cartilage and could relate to the previously shown increased risk for disease progression in such patients.
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