Prognostic significance of serum lactate dehydrogenase in patients with osteosarcoma of the extremities

G. Bacci, S. Ferrari, L. Sangiorgi, P. Picci, R. Casadei, M. Orlandi, D. Iantorno, A. Battistini, A. Zanone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Six hundred and fifty-six patients with osteosarcoma of the extremities (107 metastatic and 549 with localized disease) were followed from 2.5 to 20 years (average: 10 years) to evaluate whether their pretreatment serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) enzyme levels had a clinical value in predicting the course of the disease. The percentage of patients who had an elevated serum LDH at the time of diagnosis was significantly higher in those patients with metastatic disease than those who had localized disease (64% versus 33%, p <0.0001). For those who presented with localized disease and had an increased serum LDH level, far more ultimately developed a relapse of disease (60% versus 38%, p <0.0001) than those patients with a normal pre-treatment value. The prognostic significance of the serum LDH was more pronounced for the 247 patients treated with adjuvant chemotherapy (relapse rate of 72% versus 48%: p <0.0002) than the 271 patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy (relapse rate: 46% versus 28%, p <0.005). Following treatment, serum LDH levels almost uniformly returned to normal and no correlation between postoperative levels and relapse of disease could be identified. We have demonstrated that in patients with osteosarcoma of the extremities, pretreatment serum LDH levels have a definite prognostic value which should be considered when comparing the results achieved with different therapeutic protocols and in planning new randomized clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-210
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Chemotherapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • lactate dehydrogenase
  • osteosarcoma
  • serum LDH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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