Arthritis & Rheumatism, Volume 62,
November 2010 Abstract Supplement

Abstracts of the American College of
Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals
Annual Scientific Meeting
Atlanta, Georgia November 6-11, 2010.

Serum Osteoprotegrin (OPG) in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

Kiani2,  Adnan N., Aukrust3,  Pal, Ueland3,  Thor, Magder4,  Laurence S., Ivana3,  Hollan, Petri1,  Michelle A.

Timonium, MD
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
Oslo University Hospital
University of Maryland


Osteoprotegerin (OPG), is a member of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor family. It has recently been demonstrated that OPG is produced by a variety of tissues, including the cardiovascular system (heart, arteries, veins), lung, kidney, and immune tissues, as well as bone. OPG–RANKL signaling pathway is strongly related to vascular calcification. We determined the association of this biomarker with subclinical atherosclerosis in SLE at baseline and two years later.


166 SLE patients (91% female, 64% Caucasian, 31% African-American, 5% others, mean age 45 yrs) had both measurement of subclinical atherosclerosis (coronary artery calcium CAC, carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and OPG measurements.


OPG was highly correlated with age (p<.0001) which is highly correlated with CAC and carotid IMT. However, once we adjusted for age, the relationship with atherosclerosis was diminished. We subdivided OPG levels into low, medium and high tertiles.

The mean IMT among those with medium OPG was 0.02 points higher than for those with low OPG. This difference was not significant (p=.26).


OPG has been associated with atherosclerosis in the general population. In our 166 SLE patients OPG was strongly associated with age. Once we adjusted for age, there was no association of OPG with subclinical atherosclerosis nor with change in atherosclerosis two years later.

Table 1. Shows the association between OPG and the presence of coronary artery calcium

 Baseline Coronary Artery CalciumNew Coronary Artery Calcium at follow-up1
 Odds RatioP-valueOdds RatioP-value
OPG level    
  Low1.0 (Ref Group) 1.0 (Ref Group) 
  Medium2.3 (1.0, 5.2).0430.5 (0.4, 6.3).60
  High1.3 (0.6, 3.1).494.1 (0.7, 23.1).11
1 Among those who did not have coronary artery calcium at baseline.

Table 2. Shows the association between OPG and the mean carotid IMT.

 Baseline IMTChange in IMT
OPGDifference in Mean IMTP-valueDifference in Mean change in IMTP-value
OPG level    
  Low0.0 (Ref Group) 0.0 (Ref Group) 
  Medium0.02 (-0.01, 0.06).260.01 (-0.02, 0.06).49
  High0.02 (-0.01, 0.06).230.01 (-0.03, 0.05).61

To cite this abstract, please use the following information:
Kiani, Adnan N., Aukrust, Pal, Ueland, Thor, Magder, Laurence S., Ivana, Hollan, Petri, Michelle A.; Serum Osteoprotegrin (OPG) in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. [abstract]. Arthritis Rheum 2010;62 Suppl 10 :479
DOI: 10.1002/art.28248

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