Knee osteoarthritis is the most common degenerative disease of the joints caused by articular cartilage injury, degradation of the joint edge and subchondral bone hyperplasia. Various treatments are used to alleviate the symptoms of patients with knee osteoarthritis, including analgesics and intra-articular injections. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is an autologous and multifunctional platelet concentrate of the blood, which stimulates the cartilage healing process and improves the damage caused by articular disease. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is an effective treatment for patients with knee osteoarthritis. In the current study, the effectiveness of PRP and HA combination therapy administered via intra-articular injections for patients with knee osteoarthritis was analyzed. A total of 360 patients with knee osteoarthritis were randomized into four different treatment groups as follows: Double-blind treatment with PRP (2-14 ml); double-blind treatment with HA (0.1-0.3 mg); combination therapy of PRP and HA; and placebo groups. Following treatment, all patients were evaluated using the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC) and Common Toxicity Criteria. The most common treatment-emergent adverse events were hypertension and proteinuria. The current study demonstrated that PRP and HA treatment significantly improved arthralgia, and PRP treatment was determined to be significantly more effective than HA treatment using the WOMAC pain score (P<0.05). PRP and HA combination treatment significantly improved arthralgia, reduced humoral and cellular immune responses and promoted angiogenesis, which improved the patients' histological parameters compared with PRP or HA treatment alone. These results suggested that PRP and HA combination treatment may be a potential treatment option for patients with knee osteoarthritis in the future.
Keywords: arthralgia; hyaluronic acid; keen osteoarthritis; platelet-rich plasma.