Molecular markers for osteoarthritis: the road ahead

Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2002 Sep;14(5):585-9. doi: 10.1097/00002281-200209000-00019.


Osteoarthritis is a disabling joint disease that is characterized by the progressive destruction of articular cartilage. Diagnosis is based on clinical symptoms in combination with radiography, which is relatively insensitive and provides only an indication of accumulated damage. Alternative methods, such as molecular markers, are therefore needed that can quantitatively, reliably, and sensitively detect osteoarthritic changes in the joints at an early stage of the disease. Such molecular markers are essential for diagnosis, prognosis, and monitoring of disease progression and efficacy of therapy that is targeted at joint destruction. In addition, these markers are important for the development of new disease-modifying therapies. This concise review discusses the developments over the past 2 years in the field of molecular markers for osteoarthritis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Collagen Type II / metabolism
  • Cross-Linking Reagents
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Genetic Markers*
  • Humans
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases / metabolism
  • Osteoarthritis / genetics*
  • Osteoarthritis / metabolism
  • Osteoarthritis / pathology
  • Proteoglycans / metabolism


  • Collagen Type II
  • Cross-Linking Reagents
  • Genetic Markers
  • Proteoglycans
  • Matrix Metalloproteinases