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.

Association between Serum Osteoprotegerin Levels and Carotid Atherosclerotic Plaque in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Asanuma,  Yu, Shimada,  Yuki, Mimura,  Toshihide


Osteoprotegerin (OPG), a regulator in bone resorption, is implicated in pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and atherosclerosis. The expression of OPG is detected in human atherosclerotic plaque. OPG concentrations are elevated in patients with coronary artery disease and associated with severity of disease and increased cardiovascular mortality in general population. The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship of serum OPG levels, traditional coronary risk factors and RA-related factors to carotid atherosclerotic plaque in patients with RA.


Ninety-six patients with RA were studied (84.4% female, age 60±10(SD) years). Serum OPG levels were measured by ELISA. All patients underwent carotid ultrasonography. The relationship between the patients' clinical characteristics and the presence or absence of carotid atherosclerotic plaque was examined. Spearman correlation analyses and Mann-Whitney tests were used to define the association between OPG levels and other variables. Logistic regression was used to assess association among OPG, cardiovascular risk factors, markers of inflammation and carotid plaque.


OPG concentrations were significantly higher in patients with plaque than those without plaque (median: 1374 vs. 868 pg/ml, P<0.001). The prevalence of carotid plaque increased across OPG quartiles (p trend=0.005). Older age and higher levels of CRP or MMP-3 were more common in RA patients with plaque. Significant difference was not found in sex, disease duration, blood pressure, BMI, smoking, LDL cholesterol, DAS28, modified Sharp score and daily dose of prednisolone between RA patients with and without plaque. Serum OPG levels were correlated with CRP after adjusting for age and sex (P=0.009). After adjusting for age, sex and CRP, increased levels of OPG were associated with carotid plaque in patients with RA (P=0.024), however the association was not found between other risk factors for atherosclerosis, markers of inflammation or disease activity and presence of carotid plaque.


Patients with RA, a group that is known to have accelerated coronary atherosclerosis, also have increased concentrations of OPG, a mediator linked to coronary artery disease in other populations. OPG concentrations are independently associated with carotid plaque. Increased OPG levels would be a useful biomarker for atherosclerosis in patients with RA.

To cite this abstract, please use the following information:
Asanuma, Yu, Shimada, Yuki, Mimura, Toshihide; Association between Serum Osteoprotegerin Levels and Carotid Atherosclerotic Plaque in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis. [abstract]. Arthritis Rheum 2010;62 Suppl 10 :1017
DOI: 10.1002/art.28784

Abstract Supplement

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