Knee osteoarthritis patients who will eventually need knee replacement have greater cartilage loss early in the course of their disease compared to patients who don't go on to require knee replacement. Those findings were presented at the World Congress on Osteoarthritis, based on data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. The study involved 109 knees from study participants who had knee replacement between the first and fourth year of the Osteoarthritis Initiative, according to Rheumatology News.
MRI was used to measure cartilage thickness. Researchers found that patients who had received a knee replacement had three times as much cartilage loss as controls (patients who did not go on to have surgery). Cartilage loss may be a useful biomarker going forward in clinical trials. Aside from predicting knee replacement, cartilage loss may predict the effectiveness of DMOADs in clinical trials. Also, the findings support the theory that if treatments could slow cartilage loss, the need for knee replacement might be delayed. For now, a link between cartilage loss and knee replacement has been drawn.
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