Cytokines Linked to Knee Pain With Meniscal Injury

IL-6, MCP-1, MIP-1β and IFN-γ higher in painful knees and correlated with pain scores
By Eric Metcalf
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Oct. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Several inflammatory cytokines may play a role in the pain that develops following meniscal injuries in the knee, according to research published in the Oct. 1 issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Jason M. Cuellar, M.D., of the NYU-Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York City, and colleagues analyzed data from 32 adults with knee pain of less than six months and evidence of meniscal damage and no rheumatoid arthritis who opted for arthroscopy. Twenty-three patients agreed to a lavage of the contralateral knee, and 15 asymptomatic control volunteers also underwent lavage. Researchers thus performed cytokine analysis on 70 samples from 47 patients.

The researchers found that concentrations of interleukin 6 (IL-6), monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), macrophage inflammatory protein-1 beta (MIP-1β), and interferon gamma (IFN-γ) had significant positive correlation with patient-reported pain scores. The concentration of each of these was also significantly correlated with each other.

"These cytokines were nearly absent in the knees of fifteen normal, age-matched, asymptomatic control subjects. Compared with the findings of preoperative magnetic resonance imaging and intraoperative diagnosis, the assay of these four cytokines performed as well as or better than magnetic resonance imaging. These findings suggest that these cytokines may serve as the basis for further development of a diagnostic test," the authors write.

At least one author reported a financial relationship with Cytonics Corporation.

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