According to a study, taking certain anti-inflammatory pain relievers for osteoarthritis may, over time, worsen inflammation in the knee joint.

Over 500 million people worldwide suffer from osteoarthritis, the most prevalent form of arthritis.The hands, hips, and knees are the most common areas affected.

The cartilage that cushions the joints gradually wears away in people with osteoarthritis.Painful joint inflammation or swelling is frequently associated with arthritis.

Osteoarthritis pain and inflammation are commonly treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).However, little is known about these medications’ long-term effects on disease progression.

Johanna Luitjens, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, San Francisco, stated, “To date, no curative therapy has been approved to cure or reduce the progression of knee osteoarthritis.”

“While nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are frequently used to treat pain, the impact of NSAID use on osteoarthritis patients’ outcomes is still up for debate.Specifically, “MRI-based structural biomarkers have never been used to analyze the impact of NSAIDs on synovitis, or the inflammation of the membrane lining the joint,” Luitjens stated.

The study, which will be presented next week at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), looked at how NSAID treatment affects joint structure over time and the relationship between NSAID use and synovitis in patients with knee osteoarthritis.

According to Luitjens, “Synovitis mediates the development and progression of osteoarthritis” and “may be a therapeutic target.”

The researcher stated, “Therefore, the goal of our study was to analyze whether NSAID treatment influences the development or progression of synovitis and to investigate whether NSAID treatment influences cartilage imaging biomarkers, which reflect changes in osteoarthritis.”

277 people from the Osteoarthritis Initiative cohort who had moderate to severe osteoarthritis and had been taking NSAIDs for at least one year between the beginning of the study and the four-year follow-up were included in the study and compared to a group of 793 people who were not taking NSAIDs as a control.

All members went through X-ray of the knee at first and following four years.Images were scored for inflammation biomarkers.

Noninvasive biomarkers for assessing the progression of arthritis included measurements of cartilage thickness, composition, and other MRI measurements.The findings demonstrated that taking NSAIDs had no long-term benefits.

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