Radiologic features poorly predict clinical outcomes in knee osteoarthritis

Scand J Rheumatol. 2002;31(1):13-6. doi: 10.1080/030097402317255309.


Objectives: To assess the impact of radiographic severity and progression on pain and disability.

Methods: Measurements of mean joint space width (JSW), narrowest join space (NJS) point and assessment of symptoms by the WOMAC questionnaire were performed at baseline and after three years in 212 subjects over 50 years with primary knee OA.

Results: At baseline, JSW and NJS were not significantly correlated with the scores recorded for the WOMAC global index or its pain, stiffness or function subscales. A statistically significant correlation was observed between the joint space narrowing over three years and the changes observed in the pain subscale of the WOMAC during the same period. The three-year changes in the global WOMAC index in patients within the lowest and the highest quartiles of mean joint space width at baseline showed, in both cases, a statistically (p<0.05) significant favorable difference between patients treated with glucosamine sulphate and those having received placebo.

Conclusion: Radiographic and clinical progressions of the disease are significantly associated but the clinical relevance of the association is questionable.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthrography / methods*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Disease Progression
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Glucosamine / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / diagnostic imaging*
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / diagnostic imaging*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / drug therapy
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / physiopathology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Glucosamine