Periarticular bone predicts knee osteoarthritis progression: Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative

For The OAI Investigators Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Objective: Osteoarthritis (OA) is a disease with a substantial public health burden. Quantitative assessments of periarticular bone may be a biomarker capable of monitoring early disease progression. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether measures of periarticular bone associate with longitudinal structural progression. Methods: We conducted a 12–18 months longitudinal study using the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI). Participants received knee dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), trabecular magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, and x-rays. Knee DXAs generated proximal tibial medial:lateral periarticular bone mineral density (paBMD) measures. Proximal tibial trabecular MR images were assessed for trabecular morphometry: apparent bone volume fraction (BVF), trabecular number, thickness, and spacing. Weight-bearing x-rays were assessed for medial tibiofemoral joint space narrowing (JSN). Chi-squared analyses assessed whether periarticular bone measures were predictive of worsening medial tibiofemoral JSN, adjusted for age, sex, and BMI. Results: In all, 444 participants, mean age 64.2 ± 9.2 years, BMI 29.5 ± 4.6 kg/m2, and 52% male at baseline. Medial JSN (radiographic progression) occurred in 40 participants (9%). Higher baseline medial:lateral paBMD, apparent BVF, trabecular number and thickness, and lower baseline and decreased trabecular spacing were all associated with more progression of JSN in the medial compartment. From lowest to highest baseline medial:lateral paBMD quartile groups, 2%, 5%, 11%, and 18% had medial JSN progression, respectively, between the 36- and 48-month visits, p-values = 0.001 and 0.002 unadjusted and adjusted. The rate of change in medial:lateral paBMD, apparent BVF, and spacing were associated with more medial JSN. For rate of medial:lateral paBMD change from lowest to highest quartile, the proportion of each group that experienced medial JSN progression were 5%, 5%, 11%, and 18%, with an unadjusted and adjusted p-value of 0.005. Conclusion: Baseline and most rates of periarticular bone change associate with knee OA structural progression, highlighting the close relationship between subchondral bone and JSN. Future studies should focus on developing these measures as predictive and pathophysiological biomarkers, and evaluating their deployment in clinical trials testing bone-targeted therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-161
Number of pages7
JournalSeminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • Bone density
  • DXA
  • Knee
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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