Serum level of hyaluronic acid – a marker with a predictive value for radiographic progression of hand osteoarthritis

Authors: M. Filková 1;  L. Šenolt 1;  M. Braun 1;  H. Hulejová 1;  A. Pavelková 1;  O. Šléglová 1;  K. Kupka 2;  J. Gatterová 1;  K. Pavelka 1
Authors‘ workplace: Revmatologický ústav, Experimentální laboratoř pro výzkum pojiva, Revmatologická klinika 1. LF UK, Praha 1;  Ústav nukleární medicíny 1. LF UK a VFN, Praha 2
Published in: Čes. Revmatol., 17, 2009, No. 4, p. 184-190.
Category: Original Papers


Hyaluronic acid (HA) is considered a potential biomarker of progression of knee osteoarthritis (OA). The aim of this study was to measure the serum levels of HA in patients with erosive and non-erosive hand OA, and to determine its association with the disease specific structural changes.

Fifty-five women with erosive and 33 with non-erosive OA underwent clinical examination and functional tests. Eighty-one patients underwent three-phase bone scintigraphy in order to determine the inflammation and remodeling of hand joints. Radiographs of hands were performed at baseline and after 2 years. Serum levels of HA were measured by ELISA.

Women only were included in this study. Both groups were comparable in terms of age, disease duration, BMI and inflammatory markers. The serum levels of HA correlated with age and disease duration. After adjustment for age and disease duration, HA serum levels were still higher in patients with erosive than non-erosive OA, and correlated with the number of joints with deviations and deformities. Furthermore, the serum levels of HA were associated with joint remodeling as assessed by late phase scintigraphy, and correlated with the severity of radiographic changes at baseline and after 2 years.

The serum level of HA is increased in patients with erosive compared to patients with non-erosive hand OA. It is associated with local structural changes and may be regarded as a biomarker with a predictive value for radiographic progression of hand OA.

Key words:
hyaluronic acid, biomarker, erosive osteoarthritis, scintigraphy


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