Time-Dependent Effects on Synovial Fluid Composition During the Acute Phase of Human Intra-articular Ankle Fracture.
BACKGROUND: The study objective was to examine the effect of time and fracture severity on the undiluted synovial fluid (SF) microenvironment during the acute phase following intra-articular fracture (IAF) of the human ankle. METHODS: Ankle SF from 54 patients with an acute IAF was analyzed for concentrations of 10 cytokines, 5 matrix metalloproteinases, 2 products of cartilage catabolism, and combined products of heme metabolism. All analytes were correlated with time from fracture and further analyzed for an effect of 3 time subgroups (0-2 days, 3-9 days, and ≥10 days) corresponding to timepoints for clinical ankle fracture interventions. The effect of fracture severity was determined by grouping SF according to the number of radiographic intra-articular fracture lines. RESULTS: Fifteen of 18 analytes were significantly correlated with time. Temporal grouping of SF revealed an initial (0-2 days) spike of pro-inflammatory (IL-12p70, IL-1β, IL-6) and anti-inflammatory (IL-10 and IL-4) cytokines, matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) MMP-9, and sGAG, followed immediately (3-9 days) by products of heme metabolism and an unchallenged surge in mediators and products of cartilage catabolism (MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-10, and CTX-II). After 10 days, there was a decrease in pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines but a persistence of mediators of ECM catabolism. There was no clear relationship between the number of fracture lines and SF levels of analytes. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated acute temporal fluctuations following ankle IAF resulting in an overall catabolic environment by 10 days post-fracture and supports consideration of an early evacuation of the joint space to reduce the intra-articular inflammatory burden. Clinical Relavence: This study contributes to the understanding of the intra-articular events that potentially contribute to the development of posttraumatic osteoarthritis acutely following IAF in the ankle.
Adams, SB; Reilly, RM; Huebner, JL; Kraus, VB; Nettles, DL
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