Objective: To test if markers of bone metabolism are altered in patients with seronegative spondyloarthropathies (SSpA).
Methods: We studied biochemical markers of bone resorption and bone formation, osteoprotegerin (OPG), and bone mineral density (BMD) in patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA), ankylosing spondylitis (AS), and reactive arthritis (ReA) and healthy volunteers.
Results: The bone resorption markers urinary deoxypyridinoline and crosslinked telopeptide of collagen-I were significantly increased in patients with AS, PsA, and ReA; in PsA they correlated with the acute phase response (C-reactive protein and erythrocyte sedimentation rate). The bone formation markers were divergent: bone-specific alkaline phosphatase was increased in PsA, but not in AS or ReA. Osteocalcin levels were only elevated in AS. Serum levels of OPG were significantly increased in both AS and PsA. Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) measurements of lumbar spine and femoral neck revealed osteopenia in patients with AS, whereas the DEXA distribution was within normal range in PsA.
Conclusion: Our data indicate high and, particularly in AS, unbalanced bone turnover in SSpA, consistent with the decrease in BMD found in patients with AS.