Less Severe Synovitis in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis is Associated with Higher Self-Reported Pain Intensity 12 Months After Total Knee Arthroplasty- An Exploratory Cohort Study.

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Copyright © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. 2019 June;78(2)_suppl. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2019-eular.5695


Synovitis is a pain generator in patients with osteoarthritis and associated with upregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which have been found to lead to pain sensitivity and worse self-reported pain(1).

This study aimed to investigate the association between pre- and perioperative synovitis from imaging and histology and self-reported pain 12 months after total knee arthroplasty (TKA).

Preoperative synovitis was assessed from MRI data of the knee by 11 point synovitis score a.m Guermazi (2) using contrast enhanced MRI (CE-synovitis) and heuristic time intensity curve analysis of the dynamic contrast enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) data using the DYNAMIKA® software (Image Analysis group, London) providing Dynamic Enhanced MR Quantification (DEMRIQ) Indices (3). Perioperative synovitis was also assessed from biopsies of the synovium in 6 predefined places graded histologically a.m Krenn (4). Worst pain within the last 24-hours (visual analog scale, VAS, 0-100) was assessed before and 12 months after TKA. Patients were divided into a low-pain (VAS≤30) and a high-pain (VAS>30) group based on 12-months postoperative VAS.

Twenty-six patients had full pre- and postoperative data and were analysed. The high-pain group had significantly lower CE-synovitis (P=0.03), DCE-MRI inflammation indices (DEMRIQ-inflammation) (P<0.03) and a trend towards lower histologically assessed synovitis grades (P=0.077) compared to the low-pain group at baseline. Preoperative synovitis scores were also inversely correlated with pain 12-months after TKA, CE-synovitis (R = – 0.455, P = 0.022) and DCE-MRI inflammation (R = -0.528, P = 0.007), indicating that more severe preoperative synovitis is associated with less severe pain at 12-months.

Higher preoperative synovitis scores are associated with less postoperative pain 12-months after TKA. Further, correlation analysis revealed that less severe preoperative synovitis was associated with worse pain 12-months after TKA, suggesting that CE and DCE-MRI synovitis quantification could be used as imaging markers for prediction of good surgical outcomes.

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