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MRI imaging techniques confirm that Chondroitin Sulfate delays the advance of knee osteoarthritis

22 May 2015
  • This is the main conclusion of a new Canadian clinical trial presented for the first time at the Spanish National Congress of Rheumatology hosted in Seville
  • The study’s findings revealed that chondroitin sulfate is not only as efficient as Celecoxib at improving pain and mobility in knee osteoarthritis-it is also safer.
  • The trial’s results offer evidence that chondroitin sulfate is better than an anti inflammatory drug (Celecoxib) in delaying progression of osteoarthritis 

Seville, May 21, 2015. A new study used MRI imaging to confirm that chondroitin sulfate delays progression of knee osteoarthritis. This is a clinical trial called MOSAIC (24 MOnth study on Structural changes in knee osteoarthritis Assessed by MRI with Chondroitin sulfate) that will be presented for the first time at the national conference of the Spanish Society of Rheumatology, which is held in Seville.

Leading rheumatologist and osteoarthritis expert Jean-Pierre Pelletier, from the University of Montreal (Canada), will present the preliminary results of this multicenter, randomized, double blind and controlled trial that is currently underway in five medical centers from Quebec (Canada), involving 200 OA patients suffering from inflammation and pain. Patients received either 1,200 mg per day of chondroitin sulfate (a specific drug for osteoarthritis) or 200 mg per day of Celecoxib (an anti inflammatory drug). They were subjected to MRI scans at the beginning of the trial, after one year and at the end of the trial. “Osteoarthritis is a disease characterized by the progressive wear of the cartilage-MRI scans allow to precisely measure this process and the disease’s progression. This is the main innovation of this trial, because until now no one had used radiography in long term studies” explained Professor Pelletier.

The findings revealed that patients treated with Chondroitin sulfate experienced a statistically significant reduction in loss of cartilage volume compared with patients taking anti inflammatory drugs. “These findings prove that Chondroitin sulfate may delay the progression of osteoarthritis in the long term-that is, it has a disease-modifying effect. This is highly relevant because osteoarthritis is a chronic disease, that requires a regular treatment with a high safety profile-and Chondrotin sulfate gives us just that”, affirmed Professor Pelletier.

The trial also assessed the effects of both drugs on the disease’s symptoms. To be more precise: pain, function, stiffness, joint swelling and effusion. Both treatments were equally efficient along the entire study, achieving a clinically relevant reduction of symptoms (around 50%).

“In sum, this study confirmed that chondroitin sulfate is equally efficient as an anti inflammatory drug for the treatment of OA symptoms, with the added advantage of its better safety profile and joint protection effect”, concluded Dr. Pelletier.