Osteophytes mediate the associations between cartilage morphology and changes in knee symptoms in patients with knee osteoarthritis

Tianxiang Fan, Shibo Chen, Muhui Zeng, Jia Li, Xiaoshuai Wang, Guangfeng Ruan, Peihua Cao, Yan Zhang, Tianyu Chen, Qianhua Ou, Qianyi Wang, Anita E. Wluka, Flavia Cicuttini, Changhai Ding, Zhaohua Zhu

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4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims: To investigate whether the associations between cartilage defects and cartilage volumes with changes in knee symptoms were mediated by osteophytes. Methods: Data from the Vitamin D Effects on Osteoarthritis (VIDEO) study were analyzed as a cohort. The Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index was used to assess knee symptoms at baseline and follow-up. Osteophytes, cartilage defects, and cartilage volumes were measured using magnetic resonance imaging at baseline. Associations between cartilage morphology and changes in knee symptoms were assessed using linear regression models, and mediation analysis was used to test whether these associations were mediated by osteophytes. Results: A total of 334 participants (aged 50 to 79 years) with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis were included in the analysis. Cartilage defects were significantly associated with change in total knee pain, change in weight-bearing pain, and change in non-weight-bearing pain after adjustment for age, sex, body mass index, and intervention. Cartilage volume was significantly associated with change in weight-bearing pain and change in physical dysfunction after adjustment. Lateral tibiofemoral and patellar osteophyte mediated the associations of cartilage defects with change in total knee pain (49–55%) and change in weight-bearing pain (61–62%) and the association of cartilage volume with change in weight-bearing pain (27–30%) and dysfunction (24–25%). Both cartilage defects and cartilage volume had no direct effects on change in knee symptoms. Conclusions: The significant associations between cartilage morphology and changes in knee symptoms were indirect and were partly mediated by osteophytes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number217
Number of pages11
JournalArthritis Research and Therapy
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Cartilage
  • Knee osteoarthritis
  • Knee pain
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Osteophytes

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