Norms for Clinical Use of CXM, a Real-Time Marker of Height Velocity

Ryan F. Coghlan, Robert C. Olney, Bruce A. Boston, Daniel T. Coleman, Brian Johnstone, William A. Horton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Context: Height velocity (HV) is difficult to assess because growth is very slow. The current practice of calculating it from measurements taken at several-month intervals is insufficient for managing children with growth disorders. We identified a bone growth by-product (collagen X biomarker, CXM) in blood that in preliminary analysis in healthy children correlated strongly with conventionally determined HV and displayed a pattern resembling published norms for HV vs age. Objective: The goal was to confirm our initial observations supporting the utility of CXM as an HV biomarker in a larger number of individuals and establish working reference ranges for future studies. Design, Settings, and Participants: CXM was assessed in archived blood samples from 302 healthy children and 10 healthy adults yielding 961 CXM measurements. A total of 432 measurements were plotted by age, and sex-specific reference ranges were calculated. Serial values from 116 participants were plotted against observed HV. Matched plasma, serum, and dried blood spot readings were compared. Results: A correlation of blood CXM with conventional HV was confirmed. Scatter plots of CXM vs age showed a similar pattern to current HV norms, and CXM levels demarcated the pubertal growth spurt both in girls and boys. CXM levels differed little in matched serum, plasma, and dried blood spot samples. Conclusions: Blood CXM offers a potential means to estimate HV in real time. Our results establish sex-specific, working reference ranges for assessing skeletal growth, especially over time. CXM stability in stored samples makes it well suited for retrospective studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E255-E264
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • CXM
  • biomarker
  • bone growth
  • growth
  • height velocity
  • type X collagen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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