People with sickle cell disease often report severe bone pain with repeated bouts of vaso-occlusive crises, but the extent of skeletal injury incurred during these painful episodes remain unclear. We sought to quantify bone degradation by comparing urinary concentrations of carboxyterminal cross-linked telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX-1), a well-described marker of bone resorption, in a prospective cohort of 52 adults with sickle cell disease enrolled in the Sickle Cell Pain Markers Study. We also questioned if changes in urinary CTX-1 concentrations correlated with changes in hemolysis and inflammatory markers measured both during and after resolution of a painful vaso-occlusive episode. Thirty-one of the 52 adults enrolled in the study had paired urine samples for CTX-1 analysis. Urinary CTX-1, corrected for urine creatinine, significantly decreased from a mean of 3.45 μg/mmol during vaso-occlusive crises to 2.62 μg/mmol at recovery (p = 0.01). Thus, increased bone loss appears to correlate with acute vaso-occlusive crises in sickle cell disease. Our finding that urinary CTX-1 can be used to probe bone degradation in sickle cell disease provides an important new tool for diagnosing and monitoring response to therapy for people with sickle cell-related bone loss.
Keywords: Bone resorption; CTX-1; Carboxyterminal telopeptide; Sickle cell disease; Vaso-occlusive crisis.
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