Advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) are the products of non-enzymatic glycation and oxidation of proteins and lipids. Low-turnover tissues such as articular cartilage seem to be susceptible to the accumulation of AGEs, which might lead to cartilage degradation. Recently, a non-invasive method for measuring skin AGE accumulation was developed by using the Autofluorescence Reader (AFR). To examine the usefulness of measuring skin AGE in patients with bone and joint diseases, we examined autofluorescence (AF) levels in skin of patients with osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and dialysis-related spondyloarthropathy (DRSA). Ninety-three patients with RA, 24 patients with OA, and 29 patients with DRSA were examined, and 43 healthy volunteers were used as controls. Skin AF was assessed on the lower arm with the AGE-Reader. Mean AF was significantly higher in the patients with RA (median 2.13 and range 1.25-2.94) or with DRSA (median 2.21 and range 1.29-3.88) than in the patients with OA (median 1.63 and range 1.07-2.31) or in the controls (median 1.74 and range 1.10-2.46). There was no significant difference between OA and the controls, or between RA and DRSA. These findings suggest that differences of AGE accumulation in the skin might reflect the different pathologies of these diseases.
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