Researchers at Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, have identified two protein biomarkers that indicate which total hip patients are likely to develop osteolysis. Osteolysis is the destruction of bone tissue around the hip joint that causes the implant to loosen and results in a revision surgery.
The researchers used a repository of 24-hour urine samples collected before surgery and annually thereafter for 26 patients (16 developed osteolysis and 10 did not) to determine biomarkers of osteolysis development.
Their analysis found that higher than normal levels of the connective tissue protein alpha CTX (a marker for bone resorption) and the immune response protein interleukin 6 (a marker of inflammation) were highly accurate in identifying patients at risk for osteolysis.
The proteins were detectable in the patients’ urine up to 6 years before they were diagnosed with osteolysis, and preoperative levels were just as predictive of osteolysis as postoperative levels.
The results show the potential of using noninvasive biomarkers to identify patients at risk for osteolysis long before signs show up on x-ray, the researchers say.
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