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Comparison of Intra-Articular Injections of Plasma Rich in Growth Factors (PRGF-Endoret) Versus Durolane Hyaluronic Acid in the Treatment of Patients With Symptomatic Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Controlled Trial

      Purpose

      The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy and safety in a randomized, clinical trial of 3 injections of PRGF-Endoret (BTI Biotechnology Institute, Vitoria, Spain) versus one single intra-articular injection of Durolane hyaluronic acid (HA) (Q-MED AB, Uppsala, Sweden) as a treatment for reducing symptoms in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA).

      Methods

      Ninety-six patients with symptomatic knee OA were randomly assigned to receive PRGF-Endoret (3 injections on a weekly basis) or one infiltration with Durolane HA. The primary outcome measures were a 30% decrease and a 50% decrease in the summed score for the pain, physical function, and stiffness subscales of the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) and Lequesne scores from baseline to weeks 24 and 48. The percentage of OMERACT-OARSI (Outcome Measures for Rheumatology Committee and Osteoarthritis Research Society International Standing Committee for Clinical Trials Response Criteria Initiative) responders was also documented. As secondary outcomes, pain, stiffness, and physical function by use of the WOMAC and the Lequesne score were considered and overall safety of the injection themselves.

      Results

      The mean age of the patients was 63.6 years. Treatment with PRGF-Endoret was significantly more efficient than treatment with Durolane HA in reducing knee pain and stiffness and improving physical function in patients with knee OA. The rate of response to PRGF-Endoret was significantly higher than the rate of response to HA for all the scores including pain, stiffness, and physical function on the WOMAC, Lequesne index, and OMERACT-OARSI responders at 24 and 48 weeks. Adverse events were mild and evenly distributed between the groups.

      Conclusions

      Our findings show that PRGF-Endoret is safe and significantly superior to Durolane HA in primary and secondary efficacy analysis both at 24 and 48 weeks; provides a significant clinical improvement, reducing patients' pain and improving joint stiffness and physical function with respect to basal levels in patients with knee OA; and should be considered in the treatment of patients with knee OA.

      Level of Evidence

      Level I, multicenter randomized controlled clinical trial.
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