Importance Synovitis is common and is associated with progression of structural characteristics of knee osteoarthritis. Intra-articular corticosteroids could reduce cartilage damage associated with synovitis but might have adverse effects on cartilage and periarticular bone.
Objective To determine the effects of intra-articular injection of 40 mg of triamcinolone acetonide every 3 months on progression of cartilage loss and knee pain.
Design, Setting, and Participants Two-year, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial of intra-articular triamcinolone vs saline for symptomatic knee osteoarthritis with ultrasonic features of synovitis in 140 patients. Mixed-effects regression models with a random intercept were used to analyze the longitudinal repeated outcome measures. Patients fulfilling the American College of Rheumatology criteria for symptomatic knee osteoarthritis, Kellgren-Lawrence grades 2 or 3, were enrolled at Tufts Medical Center beginning February 11, 2013; all patients completed the study by January 1, 2015.
Interventions Intra-articular triamcinolone (n = 70) or saline (n = 70) every 12 weeks for 2 years.
Main Outcomes and Measures Annual knee magnetic resonance imaging for quantitative evaluation of cartilage volume (minimal clinically important difference not yet defined), and Western Ontario and McMaster Uni...