Anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics for managing symptoms in people with cystic fibrosis-related arthritis

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Jan 21;2016(1):CD006838. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD006838.pub4.


Background: Arthritis remains a relatively infrequent complication of cystic fibrosis, but is a cause of significant morbidity when it does occur. Two distinct types of arthritis are described in cystic fibrosis: cystic fibrosis-related arthropathy (CFA) and hypertrophic pulmonary osteoarthropathy (HPO). Management of arthritis in people with cystic fibrosis is uncertain and complex because of the underlying disease and its intense treatment. This is an update of a previously published review.

Objectives: To review the effectiveness and safety of pharmacological agents for the symptomatic management of cystic fibrosis-related arthritis in adults and children with cystic fibrosis.

Search methods: We searched the Cochrane Cystic Fibrosis and Genetic Disorders Group Trials Register which comprises references identified from comprehensive electronic database searches, handsearches of relevant journals and abstract books of conference proceedings.Date of most recent search: 19 January 2016.

Selection criteria: Randomised controlled studies which compared the efficacy and safety of anti-inflammatory and analgesic agents (e.g. non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, systemic corticosteroids, intra-articular corticosteroids) with each other, with no treatment or with placebo for CFA and HPO.

Data collection and analysis: No relevant studies were identified.

Main results: No studies were included in this review.

Authors' conclusions: Although it is generally recognised that CFA may be episodic and resolve spontaneously, treatment with analgesics and anti-inflammatory agents may be needed. While this approach may be sufficient to manage symptoms, it is disappointing that no randomised controlled trials to rigorously evaluate these agents were found, nor could the authors identify any quasi-randomised. This systematic review has identified the need for a well-designed adequately-powered randomised controlled trial to assess the efficacy and safety of pharmacological agents for the symptomatic management of cystic fibrosis-related arthritis (CFA and HPO) in adults and children with cystic fibrosis. Studies should also better define the two conditions. A study has recently been conducted in CFA and may help fill this gap when analysed and published.There are no trials included in the review up to January 2016. We will continue to run searches to identify any potentially relevant studies; however, we do not plan to update other sections of the review until new studies are published.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis / etiology
  • Child
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications*
  • Humans


  • Analgesics
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents