Age related changes in the concentration of serum keratan sulphate in children

E. J M A Thonar, L. M. Pachman, M. E. Lenz, J. Hayford, P. Lynch, K. E. Kuettner

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25 Scopus citations


Serum was obtained from 155 children at the time of admission to hospital for elective surgery. The concentration of serum keratan sulphate was determined by an ELISA which uses an antibody specific for keratan sulphate, a molecule found predominantly in cartilage. Concentrations of keratan sulphate rise progressively during the first four years of life (0-2: mean = 357 μg/l; 2-4: mean = 422 μg/l) and then remain high until 12 years of age (mean = approx. 500 μg/l). At this time, concentrations drop markedly (13-year olds: mean = 377 μg/l; 14-year olds: mean = 318 μg/l. After age 15, concentrations continue to fall toward the concentrations found in normal adults. Serum concentration did not show significant differences with respect to disease category, sex or race but were found to vary, sometimes markedly, from child to child at any one age. The results suggest human cartilage undergoes significant changes in metabolic activities during maturation. Measurements of keratan sulphate concentration in serum may prove useful in studying the biochemical and physiological bases of these changes and in monitoring growth or endochondral ossification during maturation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-63
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Biochemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry


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