Hanna FSB, R. J.; Cicuttini, F. M.; Davison, S. L.; Wluka, A. E.; Davis, S. R. (2007) The relationship between endogenous testosterone, preandrogens, and sex hormone binding globulin and knee joint structure in women at midlife. Semin Arthritis Rheum 37:56-62
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the relationship between serum testosterone (T), preandrogens and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), and the knee structure in middle-aged women without knee pain. METHODS: One hundred and thirty-nine healthy women without knee pain, aged 40 to 67 years, underwent magnetic resonance imaging of their dominant knee to measure tibial and patella cartilage volumes and defects, respective bone area and volume, and bone marrow lesions. The serum level of T, preandrogens, and SHBG were analyzed using linear regression to determine whether associations existed between these hormones and knee structure. RESULTS: Free T and total T showed no association with cartilage volume or bone structures in the knee. SHBG showed a statistically positive association with patella bone volume after adjusting for confounders (P = 0.02). CONCLUSION: Our study suggests there are no associations between serum levels of T or the preandrogens and knee structure in women. The observed positive association between SHBG and patella bone volume may reflect a favorable effect of estrogen exposure on patella bone volume.