Mass Spectrometry-based Biomarkers for Knee Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review

Mirella J. J. Haartmans, Kaj S. Emanuel, Gabrielle J. M. Tuijthof, Ron M. A. Heeren, Pieter J. Emans, Berta Cillero-Pastor

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a joint disease, affecting multiple tissues in the joint. Early detection and intervention may delay OA development and avoid total knee arthroplasty. Specific biomarker profiles for early detection and guiding clinical decision-making of OA have not yet been identified. One technique that can contribute to the finding of this ‘OA biomarker’ is mass spectrometry (MS), which offers the possibility to analyze different molecules in tissues or fluids. Several proteomic, lipidomic, metabolomic and other–omic approaches aim to identify these molecular profiles; however, variation in methods and techniques complicate the finding of promising candidate biomarkers. Areas covered: In this systematic review, we aim to provide an overview of molecules in knee OA patients. Possible biomarkers in several tissue types of OA and non-OA patients, as well as current limitations and possible future suggestions will be discussed. Expert opinion: According to this review, we do not believe one specific biomarker will function as predictive molecule for OA. Likely, a group of molecules will give insight in OA development and possible therapeutic targets. For clinical implementation of MS-analysis in clinical decision-making, standardized procedures, large cohort studies and sharing protocols and data is necessary.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-706
Number of pages14
JournalExpert review of proteomics
Issue number8
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Biomarker
  • hoffa’s fat pad
  • infrapatellar fat pad
  • lipidomics
  • mass spectrometry
  • metabolomics
  • osteoarthritis
  • proteomics
  • total knee arthroplasty
  • total knee replacement

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