Discovery of biomarkers to identify peri-implant osteolysis before radiographic diagnosis

J Orthop Res. 2018 Oct;36(10):2754-2761. doi: 10.1002/jor.24044. Epub 2018 Jun 5.


Peri-implant osteolysis is commonly diagnosed after substantial bone loss has occurred, making revision surgery more challenging. The goal of the current study was to identify urinary biomarkers that differentiate total hip replacement patients who eventually develop osteolysis from patients who do not. We used a repository of 24-h urine samples collected prior to surgery and annually thereafter in 26 patients, 16 who developed osteolysis, and 10 who did not. We examined the markers at radiographic diagnosis, annually for 6 years preceding diagnosis, at the first post-operative sampling point, and pre-operatively. Patients in the osteolysis and non-osteolysis groups were matched according to time post-surgery and did not differ in the male:female ratio or age at surgery. Seven candidate biomarkers were measured, including free deoxypyridinoline (DPD), cross-linked N-telopeptides (NTX), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-8 (IL-8), osteoprotegerin (OPG), α-crosslaps (α-CTX), and β-crosslaps (β-CTX). As an individual biomarker, DPD demonstrated the highest ability to predict osteolysis, with an area under the curve (AUC) in Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analyses of 0.844 at 6 years prior to diagnosis. A panel of α-CTX and IL-6 was able to identify at-risk patients with an AUC of 0.941 or greater at all post-operative time points and an AUC of 1.000 pre-operatively. The results demonstrate the potential of using non-invasive biomarkers to identify patients at risk for peri-implant osteolysis long before the emergence of radiographic signs. Further, the high accuracy of the pre-operative biomarker levels demonstrates the potential importance of pre-existing, patient-specific factors driving subsequent osteolysis. Study Design © 2018 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 36:2754-2761, 2018.

Keywords: CTX; IL-6; aseptic loosening; biomarkers; osteolysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Hip / adverse effects*
  • Biomarkers / urine*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteolysis / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteolysis / etiology
  • Osteolysis / urine*
  • Radiography


  • Biomarkers