Comparative effectiveness of pharmacological interventions for hand osteoarthritis: a systematic review and network meta-analysis of randomised trials

Anna Døssing, Sabrina Mai Nielsen, Féline Pb Kroon, Ida Maria Balsby, Simon Tarp, Margreet Kloppenburg, Lisa Stamp, Ida K Haugen, Roy D Altman, Marius Henriksen, Mikael Boesen, Henning Bliddal, Søren Berg, Robin Christensen

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To explore the comparative effectiveness of pharmacological interventions for hand osteoarthritis (OA).

METHODS: We systematically searched Embase, MEDLINE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials from inception until 26 December 2021, for randomised trials of pharmacological interventions for people with hand OA. Two reviewers independently extracted study data and assessed the risk of bias. We calculated the effect sizes for pain (standardised mean differences) using Bayesian random effects models for network meta-analysis (NMA) and pairwise meta-analysis. Based on a pre-specified protocol, we prospectively registered the study at PROSPERO, CRD42021215393.

RESULTS: We included 72 trials with 7609 participants. 65 trials (n=5957) were eligible for the quantitative synthesis, investigating 29 pharmacological interventions. Oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and oral glucocorticoids' NMA effect sizes were -0.18 (95% credible interval -0.36 to 0.02) and -0.54 (-0.83 to -0.24), respectively, compared with placebo, and the result was consistent when limiting evidence to the pairwise meta-analysis of trials without high risk of bias. Intra-articular hyaluronate, intra-articular glucocorticoids, hydroxychloroquine, and topical NSAIDs' NMA effect sizes were 0.22 (-0.08 to 0.51), 0.25 (0.00 to 0.51), -0.01 (-0.19 to 0.18), and -0.14 (-0.33 to 0.08), respectively, compared with placebo. Oral NSAIDs were inferior to oral glucocorticoids with an NMA effect size of 0.36 (0.01 to 0.72). No intervention was superior to placebo when stratifying for thumb and finger OA.

CONCLUSION: Oral NSAIDs and glucocorticoids are apparently effective pharmacological interventions in hand OA. Intra-articular therapies and topical NSAIDs were not superior to placebo.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere003030
JournalRMD Open
Volume9
Issue number3
ISSN2056-5933
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

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