Canadian Researchers from nine different research institutions participated in a two-year randomized, controlled, double-blind clinical study to measure the disease modifying effect of chondroitin sulfate (CS) vs. Celecoxib (CE) on cartilage volume loss (CVL) in knee osteoarthritis (OA), and compare the effects of CS and CE on the symptoms of knee OA. Patients were treated with CS (1200 mg each day) or CE (200 mg each day) for 24 months. MRI was performed at baseline, 12 and 24 months. CVL, bone marrow lesion (BML) size, and synovial membrane thickness were evaluated using qMRI, and presence of joint swelling and effusion were clinically evaluated. Clinical symptoms were also assessed by validated questionnaires. The results showed the patients treated with CS had a reduction in CVL at 12 and 24 month in the medial tibiofemoral compartment and global knee at 12 and 24 months compared to CE. Both groups experienced similar reductions in disease symptoms (WOMAC total pain, function, and VAS pain) over time. Researchers concluded that this trial demonstrated CS is as effective as CE at reducing the symptoms of knee OA, and the superiority of CS over CE at reducing the long term progression of knee OA structural changes.
Pelletier JP, et al. In a Two-Year Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Multicenter Study, Chondroitin Sulfate Was Significantly Superior to Celecoxib at Reducing Cartilage Loss with Similar Efficacy at Reducing Disease Symptoms in Knee Osteoarthritis Patients. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2015; 67 (suppl 10).