Serum Cartilage Oligomeric Matrix Protein Detects Early Osteoarthritis in Patients With Anterior Cruciate Ligament Deficiency


      To investigate the ability of serum cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) to detect early osteoarthritis (OA) (International Cartilage Research Society [ICRS] grade 1 or 2 cartilage lesions) in patients with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)-deficient patients.


      Patients with an ACL injury of Kellgren–Lawrence grade 0 or 1 were enrolled. Serum samples for COMP measurement were obtained before surgery. The cartilage surfaces of 6 compartments were classified using the ICRS grading system. The patients were divided into groups with and without early OA according to the cartilage findings and diagnostic criteria for early OA.


      In total, 98 patients (mean age 23.7 years; range 12 to 49) were included, with 30 patients (30.6%) in the early OA group and 68 (69.4%) in the no early OA group. The 2 groups significantly differed in age, body mass index, preoperative Tegner activity scale, and serum COMP level. The cutoff value of serum COMP for the presence of early OA arthroscopic cartilage lesions was 152.0 ng/mL. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed age (odds ratio 1.09; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02 to 1.16; P = .01) and serum COMP (odds ratio 1.02; 95% CI 1.01 to 1.04; P < .001) to be independent factors for the presence of early OA arthroscopic cartilage findings.


      The incidence of early OA arthroscopic cartilage findings was ∼30% in patients with ACL deficiency, and serum COMP levels were significantly higher in the early OA group than in the no early OA group. The optimum cutoff value for serum COMP was 152 ng/mL. Serum COMP can be used to detect early cartilage change in patients with ACL deficiency.

      Level of evidence

      Ⅲ, retrospective comparative study.
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