A "best-in-class" systemic biomarker predictor of clinically relevant knee osteoarthritis structural and pain progression

Sci Adv. 2023 Jan 25;9(4):eabq5095. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abq5095. Epub 2023 Jan 25.


We aimed to identify markers in blood (serum) to predict clinically relevant knee osteoarthritis (OA) progression defined as the combination of both joint structure and pain worsening over 48 months. A set of 15 serum proteomic markers corresponding to 13 total proteins reached an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 73% for distinguishing progressors from nonprogressors in a cohort of 596 individuals with knee OA. Prediction based on these blood markers was far better than traditional prediction based on baseline structural OA and pain severity (59%) or the current "best-in-class" biomarker for predicting OA progression, urinary carboxyl-terminal cross-linked telopeptide of type II collagen (58%). The generalizability of the marker set was confirmed in a second cohort of 86 individuals that yielded an AUC of 70% for distinguishing joint structural progressors. Blood is a readily accessible biospecimen whose analysis for these biomarkers could facilitate identification of individuals for clinical trial enrollment and those most in need of treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers* / blood
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee* / diagnosis
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee* / metabolism
  • Pain
  • Proteomics


  • Biomarkers