Background Heparin-binding protein (HBP, azurocidin, cationic antimicrobial protein of 37 kDa), a serin protease abundant in neutrophil granulocytes, has shown promise as a plasma marker of severe sepsis, but it has not been studied in joint fluid. It has been demonstrated to be a powerful promoter of vascular permeability, causing plasma leakage.
Objectives To (i) investigate the feasibility of HBP analysis in joint fluid and to (ii) determine HBP levels in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) joint fluid.
Methods Knee joint fluid was drawn from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or osteoarthritis (OA) in need of a local steroid injection and stored at -80° C after centrifugation. HBP concentrations were determined using ELISA (1). A few of the RA patients were on disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs but none on biologics.
Results In RA (n=54), HBP median (interquartile range) concentration was 172 (6.43-448) ng/mL and in OA (n=22) the corresponding values were 5.80 (3.62-15.1) ng/mL. This difference was statistically significant (Mann-Whitney U-test, p<0.0001) (Figure).
Conclusions In this pilot study, to our knowledge the first investigating HBP in other body fluids than plasma and cerebrospinal fluid, measurement of HBP in joint fluid was shown to be feasible. Significantly higher levels were demonstrated in RA than in OA.
Tapper H, Karlsson A, Mörgelin M et al: Blood 2002; 99:1785-1793
Disclosure of Interest None declared
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