Soluble Biomarkers in Osteoarthritis in 2022: Year in review

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Publication Title

Osteoarthritis and cartilage


OBJECTIVE: To review articles reporting on the development of soluble biomarkers in osteoarthritis (OA) over the past year.

DESIGN: Two literature searches were conducted using the PubMed database for articles published between April 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022. Two searches were done, one on soluble biomarkers and another on circulating non-coding RNAs in OA. Additional articles were hand-picked to highlight emerging biomarker trends in OA.

RESULTS: Of 348 publications retrieved, we included 20 articles with 3 that were hand-picked for the narrative synthesis. We review recent data on soluble biomarkers and circulating non-coding microRNAs in OA using the BIPED classification system. We highlight studies using proteomics to show that cartilage acidic protein 1 (CRTAC1) is a promising biomarker, helping diagnose and estimate severity in hand, hip, and knee OA. Subtle changes in the structure of glycosaminoglycans from the extracellular cartilage matrix were shown to discriminate OA from non-OA cartilage. C-reactive protein metabolite (CRPM) and collagen metabolites may help discriminate subsets of OA patients as well as disease progression. Additionally, physical activity may impact determination of biomarkers. We also report on circulating microRNAs, lncRNAs, and circRNAs in OA and their predictive accuracy in diagnosis and prognosis.

CONCLUSIONS: Biomarkers for routine use are still an unmet need in the OA clinical scenario. Emerging data and novel classes of biomarkers (i.e., non-coding RNAs) show promise. Although still requiring validation in multiple independent cohorts, the past year brought advances towards a ready-to-use, reproducible, cost-effective biomarker, namely CRTAC1, to better manage the OA patient.

PubMed ID



ePub ahead of print