Structure-modifying effects of chondroitin sulfate in knee osteoarthritis: an updated meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials of 2-year duration

Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2010 Jun:18 Suppl 1:S28-31. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2010.02.016. Epub 2010 Apr 27.


Objective: To update a published meta-analysis of double-blind placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials (RCTs) to assess the efficacy of chondroitin sulfate as a structure-modifying drug for knee osteoarthritis (OA).

Design: A published meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials was updated to include data from one new trial and final data from a second trial both published recently in peer-reviewed literature. This meta-analysis was limited to three RCTs of 2-year duration. Data were pooled using a fixed effects model as there was no evidence of important heterogeneity.

Results: Pooled results demonstrated a small significant effect of chondroitin sulfate on the reduction in rate of decline in minimum joint space width of 0.13 mm [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.06, 0.19] (P=0.0002) that corresponded to an effect size of 0.23 (95% CI 0.11, 0.35) (P=0.0001).

Conclusion: These results demonstrate that chondroitin sulfate is effective for reducing the rate of decline in minimum joint space width in patients with knee OA.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Chondroitin Sulfates / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / drug therapy*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / pathology
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Chondroitin Sulfates