OBJECTIVE To quantify concentrations of cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) and fibromodulin in synovial fluid from the tarsocrural joints (TCJs) of horses with osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) of the distal intermediate ridge of the tibia and determine whether concentrations would change following arthroscopic removal of osteochondral fragments.
ANIMALS 115 client-owned horses with OCD of the TCJ and 29 control horses euthanized for unrelated reasons.
PROCEDURES COMP and fibromodulin concentrations were measured in synovial fluid from the TCJs of the affected horses before and after osteochondral fragments were removed arthroscopically and in synovial fluid from the TCJs of the control horses after euthanasia. Synovial biopsy specimens from the TCJs of affected and control horses were examined histologically for evidence of inflammation.
RESULTS Synovial fluid COMP and fibromodulin concentrations prior to surgery in horses with OCD were not significantly different from concentrations in control horses. Fibromodulin, but not COMP, concentration in horses with OCD was significantly decreased after surgery, compared with the concentration before surgery. Fibromodulin concentration was significantly correlated with joint effusion score but not with lameness score or results of a flexion test and was correlated with histologic score for number of synoviocytes on the surface of the synovium but not with score for degree of infiltration of inflammatory cells in the synovium. Synovial fluid COMP concentration was not significantly correlated with clinical or histologic findings.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that fibromodulin, but not COMP, could potentially be a biomarker of joint inflammation in horses with OCD of the TCJ.