Versus Arthritis Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis
University of Nottingham

Inflammatory biomarkers and early symptomatic osteoarthritis


The knee is the largest joint in the body. Knee problems are a common cause of disability. Some people develop knee problems more than others. Being over 55 years old and having a previous knee injury increases that risk. Half of the people who have had mild knee injury go on to have painful knee arthritis over the next 10-20 years. At the moment it is hard to predict and prevent future knee problems.

Studies have suggested that swelling after knee injury is likely to be linked to both knee pain and the onset of knee osteoarthritis. Current ways of spotting inflammation, such as taking knee lining samples and magnetic scans, are painful, expensive or not possible in everyday practice. 

What the research hopes to achieve

Can joint swelling accurately predict who will develop knee problems 6-9 months after a knee injury, and knee arthritis in the long-term?

Swelling of the knee joint lining has strong links with constant knee pain and deterioration of the knee joint. At the moment, to assess this, we either take a sample of the joint lining or carry out scans that could injure patients’ kidneys. These are both impractical and expensive. New blood tests allow us to look at levels of molecules linked with this inflammation. A simple ultrasound scan, which is a common clinical tool, can tell us about thickening of the joint lining. 

In this research, I would like to examine how accurately blood tests and scan results reflect swelling of the knee joint lining, and whether we can use them to predict who will develop knee problems in the short and long-term.

Work Packages Epidemiology (WP1)
Biomarkers (WP2)
Principal Investigator Dr Stefan Kluzek (University of Oxford)
Collaborators Arthritis Research UK for Osteoarthritis Pathogenesis, Oxford University Knee Group and the Nordic Bioscience


two peope, one using walking stick/crutch