New insights into the role of inflammation in osteoarthritis (OA) from a research cohort at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston are shedding light on how effusion synovitis of the knee is related to cartilage damage. This work may contribute to updated treatment options for patients with OA experiencing effusion synovitis.
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“We are very interested in inflammation in OA. We are thinking it has a bigger role than previously thought,” says Lindsey MacFarlane, MD, a rheumatologist at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Arthritis Center and lead investigator on the cohort’s study, which was presented at the 2017 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting in San Diego.1
Building off the knowledge that synovitis is a common feature in meniscal tear and OA, Dr. MacFarlane and colleagues wondered how the presence or the persistence of effusion synovitis could be associated with changes in cartilage damage in patients with concurrent meniscal tear and OA. The goal with this work was to fill a gap in understanding how effusion synovitis may change over time in certain patient populations and, therefore, alter the risk of progressive cartilage damage, Dr. MacFarlane explains.