Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of periarticular corticosteroid injection of the sacroiliac joint (SIJ) in patients with seronegative spondylarthropathy in a double blind, controlled study.
Methods: 20 patients with seronegative spondylarthropathy and clinical sacroiliitis entered the study. In 10 patients one affected SIJ was treated with periarticular injection of 1.5 ml (40 mg/ml) methylprednisoloneacetate and 1.5 ml (20 mg/ml) lignocaine (MP group), whereas 10 patients received 1.5 ml isotonic sodium chloride and 1.5 ml (20 mg/ml) lignocaine (non-MP group). Clinical assessment at the onset of the study and after two months follow-up included the patients' estimation of pain in the SIJ by the visual analogue scale (VAS) and by a pain index which was calculated from tenderness and stressing tests on the SIJ.
Results: At the two months follow-up examination the VAS (p = 0.02) and the pain index (p = 0.01) had improved significantly in the MP group compared with the non-MP group.
Conclusion: The results of our study indicate that the periarticular injection of methylprednisolone may be effective in the treatment of clinical sacroiliitis in patients with seronegative spondylarthropathy.