Efficacy of single high-molecular-weight versus triple low-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid intra-articular injection among knee osteoarthritis patientsBahrami, M.H., Raeissadat, S.A., Cheraghi, M. et al.
To compare intra-articular (IA) knee injections of a cross-linked high-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid (HMW-HA) with a linear low-molecular weight HA (LMW-HA) in terms of pain and functional improvement among knee osteoarthritis (OA) patients.
In this single-blinded RCT, the patients were randomly divided into two groups for HA injections. The first group received an HMW-HA (Arthromac) injection, while the other received three weekly LMW-HA (Hyalgan) injections. Pain and function were assessed using the outcome measures including WOMAC, Lequesne and VAS indices, once prior to injection, as well as 2 and 6 months after injections.
A total of 90 patients were included. There was no significant difference in baseline characteristics including age and sex between the two groups. Our analysis showed that total WOMAC, Lequesne and VAS mean scores remarkably improved at both follow-up time-points compared to the baseline measurements (p < 0.001). There was no significant superiority between the two therapeutic protocols according to our outcome measures at any time-point of follow-up. The only except was about the improvement in WOMAC stiffness subscale that was significantly higher in LMW-HA group compared to HMW-HA (p = 0.021). Moreover, no significant difference was observed in minor complications and injection-induced pain scores between the two groups.
This study proved that a single HMW-HA injection is as effective as multiple injections of LMW-HA counterparts in periods of 2 and 6 months follow-up.