Hasso N, Maddison PJ, Breslin A.
Department of Rheumatology, Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor, Wales, UK.
OBJECTIVE: To test whether methotrexate prolongs the effect of intra-articular corticosteroid in suppressing knee synovitis.
METHODS: Thirty-eight patients with chronic knee synovitis were randomly allocated to receive intra-articular triamcinolone hexacetonide with or without methotrexate. Variables were knee pain and swelling, assessor and patient global assessment, morning stiffness, ESR and CRP. The primary endpoint was the duration of improvement.
RESULTS: After treatment, both groups of patients demonstrated a significant improvement in all variables. However, there was no significant difference between the two groups in the degree or duration of the response. No side-effects were encountered with methotrexate apart from a slight elevation of transaminase levels in some patients.
CONCLUSIONS: In the context of this study, the addition of methotrexate to triamcinolone did not add significantly to the clinical response to intra-articular corticosteroid in chronic knee synovitis. However, further controlled studies using different designs are probably warranted.
Rheumatology (Oxford). 2004 Mar 30