A two-year study of chondroitin sulfate in erosive osteoarthritis of the hands: behavior of erosions, osteophytes, pain and hand dysfunction.


Rovetta G, Monteforte P, Molfetta G, Balestra V.




Drugs Exp Clin Res


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of 800 mg/die of chondroitin sulfate (CHS) per os plus naproxen versus naproxen over 2 years in patients with erosive osteoarthritis (EOA) of the hands. Joint count for erosions, Heberden and Bouchard nodes, Dreiser's algofunctional index and physicians' and patients' global assessment of disease activity were studied. A total of 24 consecutive patients (22 women and 2 men, mean age 53.0 +/- 6) suffering from symptomatic OA with radiographic characteristics of EOA were evaluated. The patients were divided into two groups of 12 patients each. The first group took naproxen 500 mg only. The second group was treated with CHS 800 mg orally plus naproxen 500 mg. Joint counts, radiological hand examinations and assessment of disease activity were performed at baseline, at 12 months and at 24 months. In the second year the treated group showed significant worsening in erosion, Heberden, Bouchard and Dreiser scores was recorded. Physician and patient global assessments of disease activity showed no significant difference from baseline scores. The untreated group showed significant worsening in erosion, Heberden and Bouchard nodes, Dreiser index and physician and patient global assessment scores. This study confirms the partial efficacy of oral CHS in improving some aspects of EOA.