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.
Copyright 2010 Osteoarthritis Research Society International. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.