Purpose: In this study, we compared the clinical efficacy of JOINS (SKI306X, SK Chemicals) with placebo on cartilage protection using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Materials and methods: Sixty-nine patients were randomized to the JOINS group (200 mg, three times daily for 1 year; n=33) or the placebo group (n=36). Changes in cartilage volume and thickness were measured using MRI. Changes in the delayed gadolinium-enhanced MRI of cartilage (dGEMRIC) index, subchondral bone marrow abnormality scores, and clinical scores including knee pain visual analog scale (VAS) score and Korean Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (K-WOMAC) were also evaluated.
Results: Changes in cartilage thickness and volume and subarticular bone marrow abnormality scores were not different between groups. Changes in the dGEMRIC index in the lateral tibial plateau were greater in the JOINS group than in the placebo group (19.64±114.33 msec vs. -57.77±123.30 msec; p=0.011). Significantly greater changes in VAS were observed in the JOINS group than in the placebo group (-26.00±12.25 vs. -12.47±21.54; p=0.002) and K-WOMAC (-15.42 ± 7.73 vs. -8.15±13.71; p=0.003).
Conclusions: Compared with placebo, JOINS had superior clinical efficacy in regard to cartilage protection.
Keywords: Cartilage; Knee; Osteoarthritis; SKI306X.