Objective: Individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) develop a severe form of osteoporosis below the level of injury that is poorly understood. We conducted a preliminary investigation to assess whether circulating markers of bone turnover and circulating RANKL/OPG levels are related to the severity of SCI, aging, or to differences in mobility (i.e., walking or using a wheelchair). Methods: Sixty-four caucasian men ≥1.6 years since injury selected based on locomotive mode provided blood samples and completed a health questionnaire at the VA Boston Healthcare System from 10/2003 to 6/2005. Plasma sRANKL, osteoprotegerin (OPG), osteocalcin and carboxyterminal telopeptide of type I collagen (CTx) levels were determined. Results: Increasing age was significantly associated with increased OPG and CTx. Injury severity was predictive of OPG levels, and adjusting for age, participants with cervical motor complete and ASIA C SCI (n=11) had significantly lower mean OPG (46.1 pg/ml) levels than others (63.4 pg/ ml). Locomotive mode was not associated with differences in bone markers. Conclusions: Severe cervical spinal cord injury is associated with decreased circulating OPG levels placing these patients at risk for accelerated bone loss that appears unrelated to locomotive mode.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Musculoskeletal Neuronal Interactions|
|State||Published - Mar 1 2008|
- Spinal cord injury