Relationships between Serum Interleukin-6, Radiographic Severity and WOMAC Index in Patients with Primary Knee Osteoarthritis

Elwan, S.; Hilal, F.M.; Bashawyah, A.; Paladini, A.; Soliman, N.; Rekatsina, M.; Allam, A.E.; Tai, Y.; Lin, J.; Varrassi, G.; Ahmed, R.
Relationships between Serum Interleukin-6, Radiographic Severity and WOMAC Index in Patients with Primary Knee Osteoarthritis.
Preprints 2023, 2023010314 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202301.0314.v1).


Background: Osteoarthritis is the most common degenerative joint disease resulting in pain and altered joint function. Objective: We investigated the possible association between serum interleukin-6 and symptoms of knee osteoarthritis with regard to pain, stiffness, physical function, assessed by the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC). We also examined the connections between serum interleukin-6 and radiographic severity in primary knee osteoarthritis patients. Methods: In this case-control study, fifty primary knee osteoarthritis patients and fifty age and sex matched controls were randomly recruited. Serum interleukin-6 levels were immunoassayed in patients’ and controls’ serum. Patients’ knee pain, stiffness and physical function were assessed by the respective subscales of the WOMAC Index. Standing anteroposterior radiographs of the knee joint were performed and graded with the Kellegren-Lawrence grade. Results: The mean serum IL-6 level was significantly higher in osteoarthritis patients (110.22 ± 46.98pg/ml) than controls (46.04 ± 12.34 pg/ml) (p=0.001). The WOMAC Index in patients ranged from 0 – 95 and the Kellegren-Lawrence score mean was 2.7 ± 0.76. There was a significant correlation between serum IL-6 levels and pain (r=0.595 p=0.001), physical function score (r=0.666, p=0.001)), and the radiographic score (r=0.799, p=0.001). Regression analysis showed that IL-6 level had a greater impact on both the WOMAC Index (p=0.005) and the Kellegren-Lawrence score (p=0.01). Conclusion: Serum IL-6 level is increased in primary knee osteoarthritis patients. Also, serum interlukin-6 is significantly related to osteoarthritis symptoms and radiographic severity.

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