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CHONDROITINS 4 AND 6 SULPHATE IN OSTEOARTHRITIS OF THE KNEE
Professor Martin P Schwellnus, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Background: There is accumulating evidence that a number of drugs, including glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate may be classified as disease-modifying agents in osteoarthritis.
Research question/s: Does chondroitin sulphate (CS) inhibit cartilage loss in knee osteoarthritis?
Methodology:Subjects: 300 patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA).
Experimental procedure: Subjects were randomly assigned to receive either 800 mg CS (CS group = 150) or placebo (CON group = 150) once daily for 2 years. Joint space loss (postero-anterior radiograph of the knee in flexion) and pain and function were assessed over the 2 year study period.
Measures of outcome: Joint space narrowing (min and mean) (mm), pain and function (WOMAC score), 50-ft walking time, time to climb four stairs.
WOMAC scores: there were no significant differences between the groups over the 2 year period.
Adverse events: there were no significant differences in rates of adverse events between the two groups.
Long-term treatment (2 years) with CS (800 mg daily), compared with placebo, retarded radiographic progression in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee but there was no significant difference in symptoms
Further studies are needed to confirm the structural effects of CS
Evidence based rating : 7.5/10
Clinical interest rating : 7.5/10
Type of study : Randomised, double-blind …
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