Now its possible to detect osteoarthritis in its early stages through a new blood test

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Now its possible to detect osteoarthritis in its early stages through a new blood test

Doctors may soon be able to use a blood test to diagnose patients with early-stage arthritis before the onset of physical and irreversible symptoms. As there is no blood test that can diagnose patients with osteoarthritis (OA), the chronic degenerative joint disease that impacts millions of people each year. The research team, led by Dr Naila Rabbani of Warwick Medical School, developed a blood test that may be able to detect an early stage OA and can differentiate between rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other inflammatory joint diseases.

This new test works by identifying the chemical signatures found in the blood plasma such as joint proteins damaged by oxidation, nitration and glycation (the modification of proteins with oxygen, nitrogen and sugar molecules). Researchers are confident that this new approach will significantly improve the prognosis and introduce appropriate treatment to offer the best effective treatment.

The patients with early-stage and advanced OA, RA or other inflammatory joint disease as well as a control group of people who had good skeletal health were recruited in the study. Plasma and synovial fluid samples from both the groups were analyzed using mass spectrometry. It showed that some patterns of damaged amino acids in samples from patients with early and advanced OA and RA and were markedly lower in samples from the healthy volunteers. This provided them with the identifiable biomarkers for the early detection and diagnosis.

According to Dr Rabbani, "damage to proteins in the arthritic joint has been known for many years, but this is the first time it has been exploited for early-stage diagnosis. For the first time, we measured small fragments from damaged proteins that leak from the joint into the blood. The combination of changes in oxidized, nitrated and sugar-modified amino acids in blood enabled early stage detection and classification of arthritis - osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or another self-resolving inflammatory joint disease. This is a big step forward for early-stage detection of arthritis that will help start treatment early and prevent painful and debilitating disease".


University of Warwick

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Original title of the article:

Researchers Develop Test Which Provides Early Diagnosis of Osteoarthritis


Dr Naila Rabbani

Diagnostic, Osteoarthritis (OA), Arthritis, Joints, Proteins
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