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Lab Invest. 2003 Jul;83(7):991-9.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug reduces neutrophil and macrophage accumulation but does not improve tendon regeneration.

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Department of Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, Université Laval, Quebec, Canada.


Whether nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have a beneficial effect on tendon regeneration is still a matter of debate. Given that inflammatory cells are thought to induce nonspecific damage following an injury, we tested the hypothesis that a 3-day treatment with diclofenac would protect tendons from inflammatory cell injury and would promote healing. Neutrophil and ED1(+) macrophage concentrations were determined in the paratenon and the core of the rat Achilles tendon following collagenase-induced injury. Hydroxyproline content, edema, and mechanical properties were also evaluated at 1, 3, 7, 14, and 28 days post-trauma. Collagenase injections induced a 70% decrease in the ultimate rupture point at Day 3. Diclofenac treatments (1 mg/kg bid) selectively decreased the accumulation of neutrophils and ED1(+) macrophages by 59% and 35%, respectively, in the paratenon, where blood vessels are numerous, but did not reduce the accumulation of neutrophils and ED1(+) macrophages in the core of the tendon. Edema was significantly reduced on Day 3 but persisted during the remodeling phase in the diclofenac-treated group only. The inhibition of leukocyte accumulation by diclofenac did not translate into a reduction of tissue damage or a promotion of tissue healing, because the mechanical properties of injured Achilles tendons were identical in placebo and diclofenac-treated groups. These results indicate that diclofenac reduced both edema and the accumulation of inflammatory cells within the paratenon but provided no biochemical or functional benefits for the Achilles tendon.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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