Urinary desmosine is associated with emphysema severity and frequent exacerbation in patients with COPD

Changhwan Kim, Yousang Ko, Su Hee Kim, Hyun Ju Yoo, Jae Seung Lee, Chin Kook Rhee, Jin Hwa Lee, Ji Hyun Lee, Tae Hyung Kim, Seong Yong Lim, Kwang Ha Yoo, Joon Beom Seo, Yeon Mok Oh, Sang Do Lee, Yong Bum Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background and objective: Matrix degradation is a key feature of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Desmosine and isodesmosine (desmosines) are excreted in urine following matrix degradation. The main purpose of this study was to investigate the association between computed tomography (CT) emphysema indices and urinary desmosines in patients with COPD. Methods: A total of 152 subjects were selected from the Korean Obstructive Lung Disease cohort. Their urine samples were assayed for desmosines using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) methods. The cohort was divided into emphysema-dominant (n = 80) and non-emphysema dominant- (n = 72) groups according to the CT emphysema index. Results: The level of urinary desmosines was significantly higher in the emphysema-dominant group. Significant differences were also observed between the two groups for body mass index and lung function. Multivariate analysis indicated that a high level of urinary desmosines was a significant independent predictor of emphysema (relative risk: 2.6; 95% CI: 1.11–6.09; P = 0.028). The percentage of frequent exacerbators was significantly higher in the high urinary desmosine group in the first year of follow-up (P = 0.041). The mean number of exacerbations was higher in the high urinary desmosine group, although this difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.067). The changes in emphysema index did not differ between the two urinary desmosine groups over 3 years of follow-up. Conclusion: This study indicates that the level of urinary desmosines measured by LC-MS/MS methods is associated with the CT emphysema index. Urinary desmosine can be a useful predictor in identifying frequent exacerbators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-181
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Asian Pacific Society of Respirology


  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • emphysema
  • mass spectrometry
  • urinary desmosines


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