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Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2010 Jun;18 Suppl 1:S28-31. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2010.02.016. Epub 2010 Apr 27.

Structure-modifying effects of chondroitin sulfate in knee osteoarthritis: an updated meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials of 2-year duration.

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Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Department of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.



To update a published meta-analysis of double-blind placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials (RCTs) to assess the efficacy of chondroitin sulfate as a structure-modifying drug for knee osteoarthritis (OA).


A published meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials was updated to include data from one new trial and final data from a second trial both published recently in peer-reviewed literature. This meta-analysis was limited to three RCTs of 2-year duration. Data were pooled using a fixed effects model as there was no evidence of important heterogeneity.


Pooled results demonstrated a small significant effect of chondroitin sulfate on the reduction in rate of decline in minimum joint space width of 0.13 mm [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.06, 0.19] (P=0.0002) that corresponded to an effect size of 0.23 (95% CI 0.11, 0.35) (P=0.0001).


These results demonstrate that chondroitin sulfate is effective for reducing the rate of decline in minimum joint space width in patients with knee OA.

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